It can be difficult to keep a child with asthma healthy at home. Asthma is a respiratory disease that makes it difficult to breathe. The airways in the lungs become inflamed and narrowed, which can make breathing difficult and cause coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. About 6 million children in the United States have asthma, the most common chronic childhood disease.
But there are many things you can do to help your child stay healthy and prevent asthma attacks.
1. Keep your home clean and free of dust, mold, and other irritants.
Most asthmatic reactions are triggered by inhaling irritants such as dust, mold, pollen, animal dander, or tobacco smoke. These substances can irritate the airways and cause an asthma attack. To reduce your child’s exposure to these triggers, regularly clean your home and remove potential sources of irritants.
For example, molds can grow in damp places, such as the kitchen or bathroom. To prevent mold growth, keep these areas clean and free of moisture. Ensure there are no leaks in plumbing fixtures. Call plumbing services to repair any water damage promptly.
You should also vacuum regularly and use an air filter to remove dust and other airborne particles from your home. If possible, avoid using cleaning products that contain chemicals or fragrances, as these can also trigger asthma attacks. You can also ask your child’s doctor about medications that can help reduce the sensitivity of the airways to irritants.
2. Help your child manage their asthma.
If your child has asthma, it’s essential to work with their doctor to create an asthma action plan. This plan will detail how to prevent and treat asthma attacks. It should include information on the child’s triggers, medications, and what to do in the event of an asthma attack.
You should also ensure your child takes medication as prescribed and attends all scheduled doctor’s appointments. In addition, you should teach your child how to use an asthma inhaler correctly. When used properly, inhalers can help prevent or reduce the severity of an asthma attack.
Some parents may also want to consider vaccinating their children against the flu. This is because respiratory infections like the flu can trigger an asthma attack. Ask your child’s doctor if the flu vaccine is right for your family.
3. Create a smoke-free environment.
Tobacco smoke is a major trigger of asthma attacks. If you or anyone in your home smokes cigarettes, it’s essential to quit. This will create a healthier environment for everyone in your home and reduce the risk of an asthma attack.
If you can’t quit smoking, smoke only outside your home. You should also avoid using scented candles or burning incense, as the smoke from these can trigger an asthma attack. You should also avoid scented cleaning products, as the fumes can be harmful.
Smoke from fires can also trigger asthma attacks. If you use a fireplace, ensure the chimney is clean and in good repair. You should also avoid burning wood or other materials that produce smoke.
4. Encourage your child to be active.
Regular physical activity is essential for overall health, but it can also help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms. Exercise can help strengthen the respiratory muscles and increase lung capacity. This can help your child breathe more efficiently and reduce the risk of an asthma attack.
But it’s essential to ensure your child doesn’t overdo it. If they experience asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest tightness, stop the activity and rest. It’s also essential to warm up before exercise and cool down afterward. This will help prevent asthma symptoms from occurring.
But don’t let asthma keep your child from being active. Many activities can be enjoyed safely, such as swimming, biking, and walking. You can also talk to your child’s doctor about ways to safely incorporate physical activity into their asthma action plan.
5. Manage stress.
For some people, stress can trigger asthma symptoms. This is because stress can cause the airways to constrict, making it difficult to breathe. Help your child manage stress by teaching them relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or yoga. You can also try to create a calm environment at home. This can be achieved by reducing noise and having a regular routine.
In addition, you should encourage your child to talk about their feelings and worries. This can help them feel more in control and reduce stress levels. You can also talk to your doctor about other stress management methods, such as medication or therapy.
By following these tips, you can create a safer and healthier environment for your child with asthma. This will help reduce the risk of an asthma attack and make it easier for your child to manage their condition. With proper care, your child can live a happy and healthy life without fear of an asthma attack.