Since most asthma attacks in children are caused by an allergic reaction, there's a lot that parents can do to prevent or reduce asthma symptoms by limiting their child's exposure to allergens. Here are four major steps:
1. Limit dust exposure. Babies and toddlers spend eight to ten hours a day in their rooms, so removing dust from their immediate area is a great place to start. Here's how to cut down on the dust in your child's room.
- Remove carpets and heavy drapes
- Wash all bedding and stuffed animals frequently in hot water
- Purchase allergen-barrier coverings for the pillows and mattresses
2. Protect your child from tobacco smoke. This is a significant asthma trigger. Some people think that smoking in a different room or outside is safe enough, but tobacco smoke gets into your hair and clothes, and your child then inhales it when you pick him up and snuggle with him. Having everyone in your household quit is the best option. If that's not possible, have smokers wear different shirts and cover their hair when they smoke.
3. Reduce or eliminate the pet factor. Many kids are allergic to pet dander. It's best not to keep a pet at home if it triggers your child's reactions. If that's not possible, at least keep the cat or dog out of the baby's room.
4. Kill those roaches. Even the cleanest homes can have problems with cockroaches. This is a common allergen for urban children with asthma, and parents should do all they can to eliminate cockroaches from their homes. This includes frequently taking out the trash and not leaving pet food sitting out. Also, seal up any openings where cockroaches could enter -- including leaky pipes.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.