Asthma Prevention

This will depend to some degree on the specific triggers that provoke the airways to twitch and tighten. Some of these triggers will be clear-cut and others less obvious. Dealing with furry and feathered pets in your home may become a highly emotional issue if animals are causing your child repeated bouts of breathlessness. An allergic evaluation might be needed to settle the question of sensitivity, and if a pet is indeed part of the problem, it may have to be kept outside. If symptoms are severe enough, the pet must be removed completely from the home for the sake of your child’s health. Dust mites are tiny, insect like creatures that thrive in carpets, upholstered furniture, and bedding, especially when the air at home is warm and humid. The waste products of these microscopic animals can provoke all sorts of allergic reactions, including wheezing, even after the mites have died. Encasing mattresses and pillows in special plastic covers can significantly reduce your child’s exposure to dust mites. Treatment of carpets with mite-killing chemicals every few months may be necessary. In some situations, it might be best for you to remove carpeting altogether.

Molds also thrive in warm, moist environments. A basement, damp, dark closet spaces, or even a leaky toilet that invites mold to grow in the carpet surrounding it could breed these organisms and perpetuate asthma. Unfortunately, the humidifier you might have purchased to make your baby more comfortable can become a source of mold if it isn’t cleaned and the water changed frequently.

If your child definitely has mold allergy, keeping the humidity at home at less than 30 percent, using an air conditioner or dehumidifier, and monitoring your progress with a humidity gauge can be very helpful. Bathrooms, which obviously become warm and moist regularly, frequently harbor mold. Regular cleaning of tiles, bathtub, shower curtain or stall, walls, and ceilings of bleach and water or a commercial spray solution) is a tedious but important job. Carpet should be taken out of the b bathroom because water spilled from shower or bathtub or a leaky toilet invites mold to grow both within and beneath the carpet.

Every child deserves to live in a smoke-free environment, and for an asthmatic child smoke exposure can be a hazard both to health and to life itself. Any form of tobacco smoke will provoke and perpetuate wheezing; smoking should not be allowed in the home or any other environment (such as a car) in which an asthmatic child is present.

Reactions to pollens that appear at different times of the year (or year-round) may be more difficult to pre-vent because these particles are so tiny and can be blown for miles by the winds.

For the severely affected child, an evaluation by an allergist might be wise. The allergist can offer guidance regarding preventive measures, and when appropriate, treat with inununotherapy (allergy shots), which will cut down the child’s reaction to specific triggers, especially pollens, that you can’t easily control.