They are so small you can’t even see them, but beginning later this month, they might be your child’s worst enemy.
Allergens like pollen and dust mites get worse during the summer, starting in late June, says Dr. Timothy Mainardi, co-founder of New York’s Hudson Allergy. These can trigger children's allergies or asthma.
Ozone helped along by a warm city creates high ozone levels in July and August.
Many city buildings might have a cocktail of allergens, too, he says – dust or the even-more-unpleasant mice, rats and cockroaches.
“If you look at a pre-war building, they’ve been there longer than you,” Mainardi notes.
Kids don’t need to be sealed away from outside allergens, either, he says – just be careful not to bring them into bed when you get home.
For example, if a child has been playing in the park all day, don’t let them strip off those clothes and lay them on the bed. Keep shoes outside the bedroom, too.
“Those are impregnated with pollen,” Mainardi says.
And keep an eye on when ozone is high – for example, the early afternoon is when levels are at their peak.
“When you have high sunlight and high traffic, that’s when you have high ozone,” he says.
Air conditioners help filter air and keep out humidity, he advises.
And if nothing else?
“Dunk them in the shower before they go to bed at night,” he says. “It’s really the super simple things.”