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Protecting Kids from Asthma

In the event that your child does develop asthma, don't panic. With proper care, as advised by your child's pediatrician, the condition is manageable. The American Lung Association lists these common triggers of asthma attacks:

  • Cold air.
  • Tobacco smoke and wood smoke.
  • Perfume, paint, hair spray, and any strong odors or fumes.
  • Allergens (particles that cause allergies) such as dust mites, pollen, molds, pollution, pet saliva, and animal dander — tiny scales or particles that fall off hair, feathers or skin.
  • The common cold, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses.

Reducing your child's exposure to these triggers should decrease the number of his asthma attacks. You should also note and avoid anything that you observe to be a particular trigger for your child. Follow these tips for dealing with some of the common triggers:

  • Try to keep the temperature in your house moderate — neither too hot nor too cold. A good air conditioner can help.
  • Obviously, if you smoke, you now have one more reason to quit.
  • If you like to wear perfume or cologne, consider putting it on after you've left your house and are not with your child.
  • A child with asthma should also keep away from areas of the house that are being painted.
  • Buying an air purifier for your home can help you to eliminate dust and other air particles.
  • Shut doors and windows to prevent mold and other spores from entering rooms and spreading throughout the house.
  • Keep your house as clean as reasonably possible to eliminate mold, pests, and other allergens.
  • Special covers for pillows and mattresses can protect your child from allergens while he sleeps. Remove carpeting or rugs from the child's bedroom.
  • Minimize dust mites in your home.
  • If you have a pet, try to determine whether your child seems to have asthma attacks when that pet is present. If so, and depending on the severity of the attacks, you should consider finding the animal another home. In any event, keep it out of your child's bedroom, and vacuum regularly to reduce the amount of dander and pet hair in the house.
  • Finally, be especially diligent about proper hygiene during cold and flu season.

In addition to implementing some of these practices, you should make sure that your child receives proper attention from a doctor. Your pediatrician can prescribe medication to help control asthma symptoms, and can also help you to develop an action plan to manage the disease.

As asthma research continues and new discoveries are made, hope for a cure increases. In the meantime, parents can feel more secure about their children's health when they learn about asthma and what scientists have already discovered. It's a great comfort to know that there's plenty you can do to prevent asthma symptoms in your child.


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