If your child has asthma, you are probably familiar with the relief medications prescribed by the doctor. But do you know that managing asthma symptoms goes beyond these medications?
Most asthma triggers are airborne and can be found in your average home. When exposed to such triggers, your child may develop an allergic reaction and have their asthma symptoms flared-up.
Since your child spends most of their time at home, it is ideal to start asthma-care from your very own premise and reduce the possible risk of flare-ups.
To help you begin, we have gathered 5 simple ways to help you control the triggers in your house. Let us start creating an asthma-safe home for our precious ones to live and play comfortably in!
Eliminate Dust Mites
Meet your unwanted guest – dust mites. These tiny, microscopic creatures commonly make your pillows, beddings, and carpets their home. They thrive by feasting on the dead skin and hair of humans and pets, causing it to become one of the most common causes of allergies.
To eliminate these bugs, start washing the fabric in your home – such as bedsheets and comforters – at least once a week. If possible, use hot water to do so since it can do a better job at eradicating the bugs.
Remove any excess or unnecessary fabric in your home to make your job easier. The lesser fabric, the better!
The next thing you should look out for is mould. Mould commonly irritates the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Make a conscious effort to avoid creating damp spots and surfaces in your home where moulds grow in and reproduce by means of tiny, lightweight spores that travel through the air.
Especially for children with allergies and asthma, mould exposure can be extremely sensitive and dangerous to them. Remember to check for leaks around your kitchen sink, flower pots, and other water sources.
Make cockroaches your nemesis if you haven’t already done so. Besides being pests, cockroaches are a common trigger for allergy and asthma. They contain a type of protein that is an allergen for many – especially young children with asthma – potentially causing chest tightness, breathing difficulties, or wheezing in more severe cases.
Despite cleaning your house, these stubborn pests may still stick around sometimes. Hence, you may want to consider placing cockroach traps around your house. Do not use sprays! They may be a source of irritation for allergies and asthma instead of helping you control them.
Is your child’s bedroom filled with stuffed toys? This could turn the bedroom into a nightmare. Stuffed toys, as harmless as they look, could be unfavourable for your child with asthma. Since they are filled bedding, they may harbour dust mites and other allergens that cannot be easily noticed by your bare eyes.
Although having a bedroom filled with stuffed toys is not recommended, this does not mean you have to take away your child’s favourite stuffed toy. Allow your child to keep one, or a few at most, of their most cherished ones, and just remember to wash them regularly! Besides, you can consider replacing the stuffed toys with Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly ones – which are proven to have fewer allergens and irritants.
This way, you can restore your child’s sweet dreams at night.
Finally, and most importantly, ensure that your indoor air quality is kept conducive. By this, it means being smoke-free and controlling its humidity level.
When your child inhales tobacco smoke, irritating substances are likely to cause congestion in their sensitive airways, thereby triggering an attack. For the sake of our child’s wellbeing, it is best that we do not expose them to this powerful trigger.
Besides, it is ideal to keep the indoor humidity level below 60 percent if possible. By reducing moisture in the air, you can prevent the growth of mould and also reduce dust mites at the same time. To do this, you can consider using a piece of inexpensive hydrometer equipment to measure your home’s humidity level and a dehumidifier when the weather gets too humid.
By making these strategic changes to your home environment, we can eliminate the culprits that trigger asthma flare-ups. Start with these 5 simple steps to make our homes more asthma-friendly for our little ones!
1.“Allergy- and Asthma-Proof Your Home.” WebMD, www.webmd.com/asthma/allergy-asthma-proof-home.
2. “Cockroach Allergy.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, www.aafa.org/cockroach-allergy/.
3.“Moisture and Mold Problems: Preventing and Solving Them in Your Home.” WebMD, www.webmd.com/lung/mold-mildew.
4.“Stuffed Toys: Good or Bad for Children with Asthma and Allergies?” Asthma and Allergy Friendly, www.asthmaandallergyfriendly.com/USA/stuffed-toys-good-or-bad-for-children-with-asthma-and-allergies/.
5.“Your House: How to Make It Asthma-Safe.” Edited by Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, Kids Health Org, https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/house-asthma.html
6.“3 Ways to Cure Dust Mite Allergies.” Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, www.carolinaasthma.com/blog/3-ways-cure-dust-mite-allergies/.