Having a child with asthma can be difficult for a parent to cope with. Triggers can set off an attack almost anywhere.

One place that a child should not have to endure the attacks of asthma is in their own home. A home is an environment where people should feel safe, parents and children alike.

Parents who inform themselves on the triggers of asthma may be able to minimise or eliminate exposure of asthma-triggered attacks in their home.

Here are my top tips to asthma-proof your home:

Improve air quality

Improving the quality of air can help advocate for an asthma-free environment. Many irritants pollute the air such as cigarette smoke, perfume sprays, scented candles, wood smoke, gas appliances, cleaning products, and aerosol sprays. Asking others to smoke outside, avoiding perfume and other scented products, making sure gas appliances have proper ventilation, turning on the air conditioner on days with high pollen warnings, and cleaning air ducts and changing filters regularly are all ways to help improve the quality of air within a house.

Dealing with dust mites 

Learning to deal with dust mites, a common asthma trigger, may be of help in minimising the exposure to children with asthma. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that live in dust and can be found in bedding, mattresses, and carpet. They feed off of shed human skin cells. This is what makes keeping a home vacuumed and dusted very important. Children’s bedding should be washed every few weeks. Also avoiding humidifiers may lessen the survival rate of dust mites as they are not accustomed to dry conditions.

Minimise mould 

Minimising the growth of mould may be of help in asthma exposure conditions. Mould is a plant-like organism that can have harmful affects on the human body. Spores that are sent into the air are a result of mould reproduction. Inhaling these spores can trigger an asthma attack.

There are different ways that mould may be minimised including: reducing moisture by fixing broken or leaky pipes, taking down wallpaper, installing an exhaust fan in the bathroom for reducing moisture from showers, using anti-mildew paint in damp areas, and removing ceiling tiles with visible mold on them.

Be aware of pets

Animals are also one of the most common triggers of asthma as around 30% of people have an animal-related allergy. Allergens are usually found in their urine, dander, or saliva. The easiest thing would be to find another home for an animal, but that is not always the choice that parents and children would want to make.

There are other ways to accommodate living with both asthma and a pet. Making the pet an outdoors pet would be a better option for a child with an allergy to animals. If that is not accommodating, at least keep the animal out of the child’s bedroom or playroom.

Eliminating triggers of asthma within a house can be a lot of work, especially when most of the triggers are microscopic. Even after a parent does the best they can to make their house safe for their children, it does not always mean that they have totally eliminated the dangers. After all, a house cannot be wrapped in a protective bubble. However, minimizing or eliminating triggers may help reduce the amount of flare-ups in children.

As a parent, it is always best to take a first aid course in case of an allergic emergency.

asthma-and-allergies-infographic

Image of girl in her room from Shutterstock

  • Great article – a very informative read. My son has bad asthma sometimes – fingers crossed he grows out of it

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  • Thanks for a wonderfully informative article; our family has lived with asthma for a long time now and it is sometimes a struggle. We do follow the tips above to asthma proof our home but there are just so many triggers, awareness and preventative measures are key. I agree with taking a first aid course and don’t forget to refresh your skills and knowledge by updating on a regular basis.

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  • This is very informative post. About 1 in 10 Australians suffer from asthma. And if you are asthmatic, then home ventilation system are ideal because they drive out the toxins and pollens that can trigger asthma symptoms.
    http://www.ventis.com.au/how-it-works/cool-home/

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  • Great educational article, very important tips/advice to follow, thanks for sharing.

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  • This is a constant struggle, it’s hard work keeping dust out of your house!

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  • Great ideas thanks, my dad has asthma and I thought his was really bad but he explained his is mild and mine is too so now I always have a preventative and treatment puffer. I shall keep this in mind as triggers for myself and my kids. It seemed to have been passed down to them as well.

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  • We know our first aid which is a good thing

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  • With a young baby this info is handy to know to avoid asthma in the household.

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  • Unfortunately Asthma can be genetic. I know 2 cousins who both have it , one female, one male. Both the lady’s children have severe asthma. Her little boy has had so many bad attacks that he has a deep groove in the middle of his chest. He was unable to pursue the career he wanted because the smells of the materials would have irritated. They have a large nebuliser at home.
    Both the children hated having to go to hospital but they would tell their Mum when it was time when they were still quite little. Their Mum surprisingly didn’t develop severe Asthma until she was about 40. Her cousin eventually died from an Asthma attack.
    A relative of mine has severe hayfever. As a young child it took a long time before an allergist worked out what his main triggers were. Some of it was a combination of mild allergies to a few things, 2 of them were foods, some were the pollens from various grasses. Surprisingly none of them were related to anything growing in our yard, including shrubs that his Dad wanted an excuse to get rid of.
    The son of a lady I used to work with has Asthma. At one stage he spent a lot of time in hospital while they tried to work out what he is allergic to. At one stage his Mum was told that although his attacks were less frequent they were affecting his heart. Thankfully he seems to have partially grown out of it and has a full-time job.

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  • We have asthma so its good to go through what we need to do to have a happy healthy home

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  • Thanks for a wonderful and educational article. My son is an asthma sufferer.

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  • some very handy tips on helping with asthma

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  • Mould & windy, cold weather seem to be what triggers my asthma most often. No food allergies though thank goodness.

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  • As an asthma sufferer I understand how important these simple tips are in helping ease my disease

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  • Good to know about this as both my husband and I have asthma and we think our eldest might have it too.

    Reply

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