Asthma & Allergies
Millions of children in the U.S. have asthma which makes it difficult to breathe. It is the number one reason children miss school and go to the hospital. Asthma has no cure, but it can be controlled.
Even more people have simple allergies. Allergies are an unusual reaction to something, like food or a plant that is normally harmless. Persons with allergies suffer from a stuffy or runny nose, itching, and/or a rash.
Follow these steps to clear the air of allergens and asthma triggers:
- Take it Outside. One of the most common asthma triggers in the home is secondhand smoke. Until you can quit, smoke outside, not in your home or car.
- Good Night, Little Mite! Dust mites are also triggers for asthma. For mite population control, cover mattresses and pillows with dust-proof (allergen impermeable) zipper covers. Wash sheets and blankets once a week in hot water.
- Play it Safe. Ozone and particle pollution can cause asthma attacks. Watch for the Air Quality Index (AQI) during your local weather report. When AQI reports unhealthy levels, limit outdoor activities.
- A Little Goes a Long Way. Reduce everyday dust build-up by regularly dusting with a damp cloth and vacuuming carpet and fabric-covered furniture.
- Stake your Claim. Household pets can trigger asthma with their skin flakes, urine, and saliva. Keep pets outdoors, if possible.
- Uninvite Unwelcome Guests. Cockroaches can trigger asthma. Do not invite them into your home by leaving food or garbage out. Always clean up messes and spills and store food in airtight containers.
- Think Before you Spray. Instead of pesticide sprays, control pests by using baits or traps. If sprays are necessary, always circulate fresh air into the room being treated and keep asthma sufferers out of that room for several hours after spraying.
- Break the Mold. Mold is another asthma trigger. The key to controlling mold is controlling moisture. Wash and dry hard surfaces to remove and prevent mold. Replace moldy ceiling tiles and carpet.
- Air it Out. Reducing the moisture will control asthma triggers like mold, cockroaches, and dust mites. Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking and showering. Fix leaky plumbing of their unwanted sources of water.
- Plan Before the Attack. Work with your doctor or health care provider to develop a written asthma management plan for your child that includes information on your child’s triggers and how to manage them.
Asthma & Allergies web links and contact information:
- Lucas County Health Department (419) 213-4100, ext. 3
- American Lung Association (800) LUNG-USA
- The Soap and Detergent Association, Cleaning to Control Allergies and Asthma
- Allergy & Asthma Network, Mothers of Asthmatics (800) 878-4403
- Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) (800) 929-4040
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Asthma and Indoor Environments