Numerous household effects make asthma worse or can cause attacks. These are known as triggers. The most common asthma triggers are allergens, infections, environmental irritants, stress, and exercise. Often times with asthma have allergies, major cause of asthma symptoms. House dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, mold, and pollen top this list of common allergens.
Infections of the airways including viral infections of the nose and throat, pneumonia or sinus infections also trigger attacks.
Environment irritants such as cigarette and other smoke, air pollution, fragrances, and cleaning products contribute to triggering asthma attacks. Be sure to check all of the child’s surroundings including classrooms at school, day care centers, and relatives’ homes for exposure to these triggers.
Help Your Child Avoid Triggers
There are numerous, simple things you can do to reduce your child’s exposure to triggers. While it is impossible to remove every trigger, the following information may help.
Do not smoke or let anyone else smoke in your home or car.
The most essential and effective things to reduce exposure to dust mites are to cover your child’s mattress and pillows with special allergy-proof encasings; wash their bedding in hot water every 1 to 2 weeks. Never use second hand mattress, always buy mattresses that are new, remove stuffed toys from the bedroom, and vacuum and dust regularly. Other more difficult or expensive measures include reducing the humidity in the house with a dehumidifier or removing carpeting in the bedroom. Basement bedrooms should not be carpeted.
If allergic to furry pets, the only truly effective means of reducing exposure to pet allergens is to remove them from the home. If this is not possible, keep them out of your child’s bedroom and consider putting a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in their bedroom, removing carpeting, covering mattress, and pillows with mite-proof encasings, and washing the animals regularly.
Pollen exposure can be reduced by closing air conditioner vents in the bedroom, leaving doors and windows closed during high pollen times. Reduce indoor irritants by using unscented cleaning products and avoiding mothballs, room deodorizers, or scented candles.