How safe is your home for your child with asthma?

Knowing which asthma triggers are at work in your home and eliminating or minimizing them will help you create the best environment for your child. To maintain a healthy indoor environment for your asthmatic, do some of the following:

• Don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home. If you smoke, quit or smoke outside of the home while wearing a smoking jacket. Remove the smoking jacket before entering the home and leave it outside.

• Avoid using a fireplace or wood-burning stove.

• Do not have live house plants. They produce mold and fungus.

• Remove all carpeting and rugs or wash them weekly.

• Use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter for your A/C unit and change it regularly.

• Vacuum and dust your home at least once a week.

• Avoid heavy curtains (use window shades).

• Cover pillows and mattresses with dust mite proof covers.

• Keep your child’s collection of stuffed animals to a minimum. Stuff animals are a perfect haven for dust mites. Stuffed animals should be washed weekly or sealed in a plastic bag and placed in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours (dust mites can’t survive more than 5 hours of freezing temperatures).

• Avoid using a humidifier in your child’s room.

• Reduce mold and moisture by fixing leaky pipes, faucets or roofs. Also, make sure bathrooms and basements are well ventilated.

• Wash shower curtains monthly.

• Avoid laundry detergents with strong aromas.

• Avoid hair spray, perfume, or talcum powder.

• Keep pets outdoors, if possible. If not possible, keep them out of your child’s bedroom and off of living room furniture.

• Avoid pests by having home professionally exterminated every few months and avoid leaving food or dirty dishes lying around your kitchen.

• Avoid using plug-ins, scented candles, and incense.

Your child’s doctor can help you identify which triggers may affect your child’s asthma.

 

Christopher P. Christie, MPH, CRT, AE-C

 

 

 

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