Pediatric ENT

Avoidance Measures and Environmental Control

Avoidance measures and environmental control reduces exposure to indoor and outdoor allergens and can be very helpful in improving symptoms.

It's not possible to completely avoid allergens, but you can reduce symptoms by taking some steps to limit your exposure to them. It helps to know exactly what you're allergic to so that you can take steps to avoid your specific triggers.

Here are some simple avoidance and environmental control measures

Pollen and/or Molds

  • Close doors and windows during pollen season
  • Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels
  • Use air conditioning in your house and car
  • Use an allergy-grade filter in the ventilation system
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest
  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days
  • Use a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom
  • Avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves, which stirs up pollen and molds
  • Wear a dust mask when doing outdoor activities such as gardening
  • Dry clothing immediately and vent the dryer to the outside

Dust mites

While the evidence isn't clear yet, doctors think reducing a child's exposure to allergy-causing substances such as dust mites may help delay or prevent future allergies. This may be especially true in children with a family history of allergies.

  • Use certified allergy-proof covers on mattresses and box springs
  • Avoid down pillows and comforters, or else use certified allergy proof covers over them
  • Wash sheets and blankets in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C)
  • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity
  • Vacuum carpets weekly with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a small-particle or HEPA filter
  • Have carpets, rugs and fabric couches professionally cleaned 3-4 times a year
  • Consider removing carpeting, especially where you sleep, if you're highly sensitive to dust mites


  • Block cracks and crevices where roaches can enter
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes
  • Wash dishes and empty garbage daily
  • Sweep food crumbs from counters and floors
  • Store food, including pet food, in sealed containers
  • Consider professional pest extermination

Pet dander

  • Keep your pet out of the bedroom
  • Remove pets from the house, if possible
  • Bathe pets weekly. Using wipes designed to reduce dander also may help
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