If your child has asthma, you know the importance of controlling any source of potential allergens, and that includes bedding, pillows, carpeting, and yes, that favorite stuffed animal that your child became attached to long before you knew asthma was an issue.
Short of totally removing that beloved animal from your child’s life, there are other steps you can take which can help. First, freeze the little dear.
That’s right, stuff the stuffed animal into a zippered plastic bag, and pop it in the freezer for 24 hours. This will kill off active dust mites and many other allergens.
Then get the stuffed animal as clean as possible. Many stuffed animals can be machine washed; others can only be surface cleaned. Check the label for details.
Try placing the stuffed animal inside a pillow case or lingerie bag and using the gentle cycle to minimize wear and tear on the animal. Use an allergen minimizing detergent product. Dry the stuffed animal thoroughly, using as hot a cycle as possible. When in doubt, over dry. When the animal is clean and dry, it can go back to your child.
Stuffed animals should be cleaned regularly to reduce asthma symptoms in children, and when possible keep the number of stuffed animals to as few as possible. Plan to do the freeze/wash/dry routine about once a month to help minimize any allergens that can exacerbate your child’s asthma.