To Carpet or Not to Carpet: Does it Affect Allergies?

09.26.2012

Wow, can you believe This is the last Wednesday in September? End of summer and the start of Autumn. Now that the cold weather is rolling in, my mind is focused on keeping the house warm for the kids.

I’ve been thinking about heaters and cleaning our carpet. Focusing on the carpet in our house has gotten me thinking about allergies also. While hubs is an outdoor allergen, the kids and I are sensitive to indoor allergens like dust and mold. Dust? Yep. We get sick from breathing in dust and our skin breaks out just from touching dust. It’s everywhere so how can I prevent it? By keeping my house clean and vacuuming weekly.

The vacuuming is such a pain with needing to treking the vaccum up and down all the stairs in our split-level home. I’m always telling hubs to remove it and polish other original wood flooring under the carpet. So much easier just mopping the hardwood like our dining room. And removing carpet is seems to be one of the first suggestions from doctors when allergies are discussed. I know my uncle did it for his kids.

But is it really better to have hard wood over carpet? I did some research and they say no. that it’s pretty much the same.

In 2004, A large-scale medical research project called “The Inner City Asthma Study” showed that, when allergen found no difference in the improvement experienced by children who  lived in homes  with carpet versus children from homes with other types of flooring. In addition, no difference was found in the levels of allergens measured in carpeted homes compared  to homes with hard surface floors.

The basic conclusion of the study: improve your cleaning practices and eliminate allergen sources such as mold, rodent, and cockroaches, as well as a child’s exposure to tobacco smoke and asthmatic children will do better, no matter what kind of product is on the floor.

The study results are interesting and you can read The new england journal of medicine article here. Results of a Home-Based Environmental Intervention among Urban Children with Asthma

Study aside, we decided to keep carpeting in our house for one simple reason – our son is very active. He does a lot of jumping and running in the house all day long. Whether it’s off the sofas, off the ottomans or off the stairs he just enjoys it all. If not for carpet, we probably would have been regulars in the ER by now.

Do you like having carpet in your home? Share your experience with us by emailing stacey@thislovelyhome.com

Rita is a weekly guest blogger here at This Lovely Home. You can usually find her blogging at Yippy Momma.
 

Photo credit: http://www.carpetcleaningvictoria-bc.com

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