Is your child one of the nine million children in the U.S. that has asthma? You might always find yourself on edge trying to do everything in your power to keep symptoms controlled.
But you can keep your child from wheezing, coughing, experiencing chest tightness, or having trouble breathing (especially early in the morning or at night) by following these best practices.
The Worst Culprits
Unfortunately, the cause of asthma still remains a mystery, but there are environmental triggers that your child should avoid, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. Among them are the following:
• Secondhand smoke
• Dust mites
• Cockroaches and pests
• Nitrogen dioxide
• Chemical irritants
• Outdoor air pollution
• Wood smoke
Keep It Clean
According to research, about 90 percent of Americans spend their time inside where allergens and irritants can set off an attack. As such, it’s best to do the following:
• Vacuum carpets and soft furniture frequently to control pet hair and dust. The best vacuums are ones with a HEPA filter.
• Maintain surfaces clean by using non-toxic cleaners.
• Wash bedding, mattress covers and your child’s toys (the washable ones) in hot water at 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill dust mites and their eggs.
There are also a few things you can mend in your home that can help reduce asthma triggers.
• Turn on your exhaust fan, open windows or vent to the outside when cooking on a gas stove to reduce the exposure of nitrogen dioxide.
• Seal crack in your cabinets and keep food in airtight containers to prevent cockroaches and pests from wanting to get in.
• Fix leaks in bathrooms , kitchens and basements to prevent mold in damp spaces.
• Make sure to change the air filter in your furnace often.
If you’re in a city filled with pollution from car exhaust, smoke and factory emissions, then being outdoors for a long period of time can also trigger an asthma attack. Try to avoid being outside for too long, and if you do head outdoors, choose locations that are out of the city.
Keeping your house clean and free of mold, dust, toxic chemicals, pet hair and smoke will not only help easy any possible asthma attacks, but also keep your kids safe from other allergies or reactions that