Creating an Asthma-Safe Home
If your child has asthma, you can create the best home environment possible by knowing which asthma triggers are at work and eliminating or minimizing exposure to them.
Your doctor can help you identify the triggers, which might include common stuff like dust mites and pollen.
Improving Indoor Air
Maintaining good indoor air quality in your home is an important aspect of asthma management. Irritants such as tobacco or wood smoke, perfumes, aerosol sprays, cleaning products, and fumes from paint or cooking gas can trigger flare-ups. Even scented candles or fresh newsprint are triggers for some people with asthma.
To maintain good air quality inside your home:
- Don't allow people to smoke in your home. If you smoke, quit or smoke outside.
- Avoid wood fires.
- Avoid scented products. Wash and dry clothes with unscented laundry detergent, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets. Use unscented or nonaerosol versions of household cleaning products and avoid scented candles or room fresheners.
- Make sure that all gas appliances vent to the outdoors.
- Choose an artificial tree for the holidays.
- Run the air conditioning, especially on days with high pollen or mold counts or ozone or pollution warnings.
- Change your air conditioning filter regularly.
- When purchasing a home, consider buying one with baseboard or radiant heating. Forced-air systems can foster mold and dust mites. If your home has a forced-air system, consider sealing off the vents in your child's bedroom with aluminum covers and tape. You'll also want to have the other air ducts in the house cleaned and change the air filter in your furnace regularly.
- If you must open windows on days when the pollen count is high, do so after midmorning because counts are usually highest from 5 AM to 10 AM. If air quality is the problem, open doors and windows early, before pollution has a chance to build up.
If you try these measures, but are still concerned about your home's air quality, consider buying an air cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter for your child's bedroom or playroom. Central air filtration systems are also available, but much more expensive.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
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