Making Your House Childhood Asthma Friendly
Once you’ve recognized the triggers of childhood asthma and have made plans
to eliminate the asthma triggers you’re probably wondering where to start. One of the least difficult is to enhance the air quality in your own home. The relationship between air quality and asthma is plain to see and there are a number of simple ways to improve your indoor air quality. If you have other children who are constantly running in and out of the house keeping pollen and other allergens out of the house may prove to be an insurmountable problem. It is very possible to control and minimize the triggers in every room of the home. It is also possible to eliminate virtually all asthma triggers in just one room of the house.
Every asthmatic needs a secure place to go in case if the warning signs of an asthma attack are present of if they are having an attack. This is an area that is easily accessible to the asthmatic, one in which he or she is very comfortable, and one that can be changed without difficulty. The first and best choice is your child’s bedroom.
Asthma and Air Quality
• Remove the carpet from the safe room. Unfortunately carpet is a big collector of asthma triggers. It collects dust, dirt, pet dander, and pollen. It is not easily cleaned. As a matter of fact the mere act of vacuuming the carpet puts a lot of dust into the air if the vacuum cleaner is in poor repair of doesn’t have a good filter. Removing the bedroom carpet and changing the flooring to tile or a good quality wood or laminate floor is the single largest thing you can do for your child with asthma. The reason: It’s easy to clean a hard surface.
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• Purchase a good quality air cleaner for the bedroom. Expect to pay in the $300-$400 range. The filter should be programmable, have a carbon pre-filter, and a HEPA filter. It should also include a warning to tell you when the filters need to be changed. Make sure that you choose a name brand air purifier so that you can be assured that replacement filters will be readily available. It is also a good idea to look at the replacement filter costs when comparison shopping. One purifier may be less expensive than the other but the filters may be over priced.
• Mattress covers and pillow cases. To help remove the risk of an asthma trigger (dust mites) enclose your child’s mattress and box spring with a mattress cover. The covers should be hypoallergenic with a laminated backing and a terry cloth top. It should be comfortable and not crinkly to the touch. Make sure that the covers are washable.
• Eliminate water leaks and other sources of humidity.
• If you have houseplants make sure that they are not over-watered and check that the soil does not look like it has mold. Smell the soil and use a spoon or fork to look for signs of mold.
• Dust the house frequently using a dust attracting cloth. Be careful not to scatter dust when dusting. Keep all ceiling fans clean. Dust them often.
• Change your household AC and heating filter every month. Check with an air conditioning specialist about upgrading the filter to either an electronic or an electrostatic filter.
• Get a good quality welcome mat. It is amazing the amount of allergens that can be dragged in through the front door. Pollen from trees and plants, bacteria in dirt and even pet dander are on our shoes. Having something outside the door to catch most of it is a good idea.
These are just some of the many ways to improve air quality for you child with asthma. Good air quality and asthma should go hand in hand.