Beds. Every bed in your house should have a wooden or metal frame. Do not sleep on a couch, sofa, or hide-a-bed. If your child has asthma and sleeps in a bunk bed, he or she should sleep on the top bunk.
Mattress and box spring. Place all mattresses and box springs in a zippered, dust-proof cover and tape over the zippers with electrical or duct tape.
Pillows. Encase pillows in zippered, dust-proof covers. Pillows should be made of Dacron or other synthetic fiber. Do not use foam, feather, or "down" pillows.
Bedding. Avoid wool or down blankets. Wash all bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets) in hot water. Cold water will not kill the dust mites. Dry all clothes and bedding in the dryer to avoid pollen sticking to them when on a clothesline.
Floor coverings. If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpeting. If not, vacuum the carpet frequently (at least twice a week) or ask someone who does not have asthma to vacuum for you. If your child has asthma, vacuum only when your child is away and will not return to the room for several hours after you have finished. Substitute multilayered vacuum bags for regular single layer bags. Small, washable cotton rugs may be used if washed often. Wood, tile, or vinyl flooring without a rug is best, and should be mopped at least weekly.
Closets. Remove all stored toys, boxes, and other articles from closets. The closet should contain only clothing and should be as dust-free as the room. Keep all clothes in closets, never lying around the room.
Furnace (heating). Electric or gas heat is recommended. Do not use wood stoves or kerosene heaters. Change the air filters on the furnace every month. Cover all furnace outlets in the room with special filters or cover the outlets with ten thicknesses of cheesecloth or muslin. This will catch dust in the furnace air. Change the cheesecloth when it gets dusty underneath (about every two weeks).
Air conditioners. Window unit or central air conditioning is ideal. Change or clean all filters every month. Electric fans or ceiling fans should not be used. Windows should be kept closed, especially in the summer.
Doors. Keep bedroom closet doors and bedroom doors closed as much as possible.
Walls. Paint walls or use washable wallpaper. Avoid pennants, pictures, wreaths, flower arrangements, or other dust catchers on the walls.
Window coverings. Avoid heavy curtains and Venetian or mini-blinds. Use window shades instead. If curtains are used, they should be washed monthly in hot water.
Humidifier. Avoid the use of humidifiers, dust mites grow best in high humidity. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity in the home less than 50 percent.
Furniture. Remove all upholstered (stuffed) furniture and replace upholstered furniture with wooden or plastic furniture. Avoid open bookshelves, as they are great dust catchers.
Sleeping and napping. Sleeping and napping should take place only in your own bed. Your child should nap or sleep only in his or her own bed as well, which has been made dust-free. When you travel, take your own nonallergic pillow with you.
Playing. If your child has asthma, do not allow him or her to jump on furniture or beds or wrestle on carpeted floors. Your child's bedroom should not be used as a playroom. Avoid fabric toys or stuffed animals. If your child has stuffed animals, they should be machine washable and washed in hot water or placed in the freezer overnight at least weekly. Store toys in a closed toy chest.