When you have an asthmatic child, few things produce greater fear than your child gasping for air. Unfortunately, asthma triggers are everywhere, and it’s impossible to keep your child away from every allergen at school, at the babysitter’s or outside. It is, however, possible to minimize asthma triggers in your own home. Read on to find out how.
Many of the triggers that cause asthma attacks readily cling to surfaces – especially fabrics. Bedding and carpeting trap common allergens such as dust and pet fur, which may bring on an asthma or allergy attack. Dust can be kept in check by using curtains that can be washed, and washing them weekly along with all bedding. Dust mites on a bed can be controlled with vinyl mattress and pillow covers, and you can replace horizontal blinds, which collect dust easily, with window shades that roll up and down. When possible, carpeting should also be removed and replaced with hard flooring surfaces, which are easier to keep dust-free.
Pet fur is a trigger for many asthma sufferers, so if you have an asthmatic child, it’s often better not to have an indoor pet. If you know someone who can keep your pet, let them do so for a few days and clean your home thoroughly. If your child breathes easier, you’ll know your pet is a trigger. If you find that to be the case, the best course of action, of course, is to move your pet outside or find it a new home. If that’s impossible, keep the pet out of your child’s bedroom.
Regular cleaning can eliminate many possible asthma triggers from a home. Aside from removing dust and pet fur, cleaning helps prevent mold from forming in sinks, bathtubs and toilets, and also keeps cockroaches away by eliminating their food sources. Both mold and cockroaches can be asthma triggers. Vacuum any carpeting rugs or carpeting, using a HEPA filter to reduce allergens.
While proper cleaning does include a home’s surfaces, it also includes keeping asthma triggers out of the air. Activities that add pollutants to the air, such as smoking, burning wood fires, and using cleaning materials that have chemicals, create a less breathable environment for everyone, but it’s especially hard on your asthmatic child.
Keep the air in your home is as allergen-free as possible. This means no smoking, no fires, no scented candles or air fresheners. It also means proper filtering of air – like changing furnace, air conditioning and whole-home air cleaner filters. Operating at top efficiency, some air cleaner filters can remove up to 85 percent of dust and airborne particulates.
There’s no denying the reality of asthma. It’s a frightening condition that limits what your child can do. When you keep your home as trigger-free as possible, though, you can increase your child’s comfort at home and lessen asthma’s impact on his or her life.
So, do you think you'll try these techniques for yourself?
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