Steven Hong, President of Sylvane.com, recently appeared on the syndicated radio talk show “At Home with Cheryl Gillepsie” to speak about how to create a healthy nursery. He went on to cover all the basics of making a healthy home.
Here are some great healthy home tips from the interview:
- If you have a newborn on the way, paint the nursery well before the baby’s due date, as fresh paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause irritation, headaches, nausea, and more serious problems with high exposure. Low-VOC paints are also available.
- Laminate or hardwood flooring is preferred over carpet, as smooth floors are easier to clean and give dust mites less room to hide.
- If you have carpet in your home, vacuum it regularly with a HEPA vacuum. Hong explained, “The HEPA filter guarantees that what you vacuum stays in the vacuum and you’re not just blowing it back into the air.”
- Babies crawl around on the floor and put things in their mouths. To avoid covering your floor with toxic chemicals, use a steam cleaner instead. Vapor steam cleaners use only water and heat to sanitize surfaces even better than chemical cleaners.
- MDF particle board, often used in children’s furniture, can also off-gas VOCs. Opt for natural wood furniture, or buy second-hand children’s furniture in which most VOCs have had plenty of time to off-gas.
- Keep pets out of bedrooms! They not only bring in pet dander – a powerful allergen – but they may also bring in dust mites, fleas, and ticks.
- Wash your bedding at least once a week in hot water.
- Hong explained that the bed is the “nice, warm, cozy, moist nesting area for dust mites.” Cover your mattress and pillows with dust mite encasings to block them from living in your bed.
- Monitor the relative humidity in your home with a hygrometer. Try to keep it between 40 and 50 percent. Low humidity causes dry skin, whereas high humidity leads to population booms for dust mites and mold. To correct humidity problems, use to dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air, or a humidifier to add moisture.
- Hong said that many air purifiers available today are “more marketing than meat.” If you’re going to invest in an air purifier, make sure it has a medical-grade HEPA filter.