Always remember that asthma is a chronic disease that triggers vary from age, gender, person, and environment. By carefully evaluating and eliminating things that could trigger asthma, you can have better control of asthma, therefore, create a safer, healthy, comfortable indoor environment for you and your kids. An Asthma-Friendly Home is easy to achieve!
For asthma-sufferers, even when they feel fine and are not under any stressful circumstances, asthma is always there and their airways are constantly inflamed. Because of their airway constant inflammation, the tissue is more vulnerable to pollutants. So, when an asthma-sufferer breathes in pollutants, their airways become very narrow, effective block most of the air from entering the lungs and thus an asthma attack occurs.
Mucus will also fill the airway that prevents air from passing easily.
Facts about Asthma
- According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), there are an estimated 5 million children who suffer from asthma.
- Asthma is the third highest ranks of hospital stays for children. It is also the number one reason for school absenteeism among children. Every day in America 36000 kids miss school due to asthma.
- Asthma is a genetic disease, if both parents have asthma, there is a high chance (75%) their children will suffer from asthma as well.
- Asthma is one of the most costly and common chronic diseases among children.
What are the common causes of an asthma attack?
Identifying what are the sources in your environment that could trigger an asthma attack.
- Molds, pollens (soil, leaves, wood, foods, wall, high humidity area)
- Cockroaches ( feces)
- Pet dander (skin flakes, saliva, urine, feces)
- Dust (dirt, dust mites, skin flakes, debris)
- Chemicals (cleaning products, glues, paints, pesticides, skincare products, perfumes, air fresheners)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde)
- Gases (fireplaces, cigarettes, kitchen gas appliances, car fumes, secondhand smoke)
- Physical exercise that requires heavy breathing
The common symptoms of an asthma attack
- Shortness of breath
- Tightening of the chest/ chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Running noses
- Itching/ swelling skin, lips, tongue, throat
- Stomach ache, cramps, diarrhea
How to prevent an asthma attack?
Remember, asthma is treatable, but not curable. The best treatments you can give to your kids are to avoid any sources that could trigger an asthma attack, these are the key steps that you should be practicing or at least be aware of:
- Clean your house on a regular basis to eliminate dust and other contaminants. Remember dust is the food source for dust mites, without sufficient food, dust mites will not survive.
- Avoid household items such as carpet, upholstered furniture, a soft toy that are prone to dust.
- Stored unused items in an enclosed storage box to prevent dust from piling up.
- Wash mattresses, pillows, duvet, curtains and etc. with hot water and dry them with dryer or under the sun.
- Avoid heavy fragrance cleaning products and instead, use unscented or eco-friendly products. Also, avoid using air fresheners or scented candles to minimize the risk.
- If there are leaky pipes, damaged ventilation or cracked roof, either fix it yourself or called for professional services. Fix it a.s.a.p.
- Get an air purifier with HEPA-filter to combat airborne pollutants. It can eliminate up to up to 0.3 microns including most of the above sources. For ground level pollutants, get a HEPA-filter vacuum cleaner.
- If you smoke, do not smoke indoors or anywhere near your kids. Children with asthma are allergic to secondhand smoke.
- Make sure your home is well-ventilated especially for gas appliances or fireplaces.
- Do not open your windows if the outdoor air quality is bad (haze).
- If your kids are allergic to pollens, avoid placing specific indoor plants at home.
- If your room is constantly infested with molds, mildews, pollens, get a dehumidifier to prevent the growth of molds, mildews and pollens.
- For pet dander related issue, the safest way is to not have pets or at least keep pets away from indoor especially in your kid’s bedroom.
- For pest related issue, keep garage bin closed and do not eat in bedroom, crumbs will attract cockroaches. Scheduled for professional exterminator every few months.