Use allergy-proof covers on pillows and mattresses – Wash bedding weekly in hot water (above 130 degrees F) to get rid of dust mites and use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture and help prevent mould in your home.
Do not allow pets in bedrooms or on furniture – Pet dander, a common asthma trigger, is often difficult to avoid entirely because for many of us, our pets are just like members of the family.
Remove carpets and stuffed toys from bedrooms – If carpeting cannot be removed, vacuum at least twice a week with a cleaner equipped with a HEPA (High-efficiency particulate arrestance) air filter. Ask your doctor about which cleaning products are best to use.
Fix leaky faucets – Mould is a common asthma trigger. To reduce mould in your home, remove household plants and keep bathrooms clean and dry by opening a window or using a bathroom fan during showers or baths.
Avoid areas where people smoke – Breathing smoke – even second hand smoke and smoke on clothing, furniture or drapes – can trigger an asthma attack. Be sure to ask for a smoke-free hotel room when traveling.
Avoid harsh cleaning products and chemicals – Fumes from household cleaners can trigger asthma. Avoid inhaling fumes at home and prevent exposure away from home as much as possible.
Reduce stress – Intense emotions and worry often worsen asthma symptoms so take steps to relieve stress in your life. Make time for things you enjoy doing – and for relaxation.
Pay attention to air quality – Extremely hot and humid weather and poor air quality can exacerbate asthma symptoms for many people. Limit outdoor activity when these conditions exist or a pollution alert has been issued.
Exercise indoors – Physical activity is important – even for people with asthma. Reduce the risk for exercise-induced asthma attacks by working out inside on very cold or very warm days. Talk to your doctor about asthma and exercise.
Take control of your seasonal allergies – Allergies and asthma are closely related, so talk to your doctor if you have hay fever. Use medications as directed and stay inside as much as possible when pollen counts are high.
Make sure people around you know you have asthma – It’s important for family members, friends, co-workers, teachers, and coaches to be able to recognize symptoms of an asthma attack – and know what to do if one occurs.
Keep quick-relief asthma medicines readily available – Follow policies at your child’s school to make sure he or she is allowed to carry an inhaler and any other emergency rescue medications that may be necessary. Make sure the school nurse knows your child has asthma.
Talk to your child’s teachers and coaches – Chalk dust can trigger an asthma attack – so it may be helpful for your child to sit away from chalkboards in class. His or her coaches and/or physical education teacher can provide important information about asthma symptoms during exercise.
Be prepared – just in case – Know the location of the nearest hospital, to your home, your job and your child’s school. When you are traveling, locate the nearest emergency facility beforehand, in case of an asthma attack.
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