As experts are predicting the worst allergy season in a decade (http://www.emaxhealth.com), knowing what you can do to help stop allergies in your crib before they start is paramount.
First, choose the right mattress. Crib mattresses can be filled with all kinds of hazards you don’t want anywhere near your child. Toxins like antimony (a common fire retardant chemical), lead, and phthalates; even commonly used materials like PVC and vinyl, emit toxins in the form of off-gassing that can be hazardous to your child’s health. The best advice? Skip those ingredients all together and buy a mattress made without excess chemicals and known hazards.
Does that mean you should go organic? Some say yes, but we disagree. Proponents of all-organic mattresses claim their superiority because they breathe. But their design doesn’t only let the air flow, it also welcomes urine flow, bed bugs, dust mites, bacteria, dog hair, and any other innumerable unmentionables to flow as well. That is why we’d recommend that you select a mattress made with eco-friendly products that also meets medical guidelines. The right mattress will have no off-gassing AND no dust mites, allergens, bacteria or other creepy crawlies.
For further peace of mind, look for independent third party testing of manufacturer claims and industry standards like CertiPUR® foams certified for durability, content and off-gassing emissions, and GreenGuard® certification for indoor air quality.
Second, keep your mattress clean. Select a mattress that allows you to quickly and easily wipe the surface clean each time you change the sheets. Sopora mattresses, for example, are designed with smooth, even surface and flat edges to take a simple damp sponge and less than 30 seconds to wipe clean. No chemicals or cleansers needed. Each time you change the sheet, wash your pad (if you use one) and quickly sponge the mattress. Your crib will not retain any odors and your sleep surface will remain as clean as the day you put it in the crib.
Third, remove the obvious offenders. Bumper pads, a cute teddy bear, that adorable blanket knit by your favorite aunt, and the fuzzy little rattle, also attract dust and soak up moisture. Where there is dust, and a meal, there are dust mites. And where there is something warm and wet, there is also bacteria. So, as much as you may think an empty crib just doesn’t look right, trust yourself. You know better. Remove the cute, unnecessary items and you’ll have a cleaner, safer sleep environment. Put Teddy on the shelf and the blanket or quilt on your rocker, your child can still enjoy them during play time and you won’t have to worry about hours of exposure each night, and afternoon, and early morning, and…
Finally, think globally. No, we don’t mean you should blame deforestation, rather—consider your child’s sleep environment beyond simply the crib mattress surface—consider the entire crib area or nursery.
• Take care of that beautiful crib. Keep it well dusted and free of surface spills or dirt.
• Vacuum under and around the crib and nursery weekly at a minimum.
• If pet hair is a consideration, be sure to remove it regularly to avoid potential problems.
• And don’t forget that adorable curtain or window treatment. We all long for sunlight in the nursery, but don’t forget to regularly clean the sills and curtains.
No one is perfect, and no nursery can be 100% clean and fresh 24/7. But by making simple, smart decisions during the selection process, then doing regular small steps to maintain those products, you’ll be ahead of the curve and your child will be healthier in the long run.
To learn more about these toxins, please visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at http://www.cpsc.gov/.