Many times, it is not possible to keep an attack from happening. But there are many things you as a parent can do to keep attacks away.
These include keeping your home free of irritants and triggers, and limiting your child’s exposure to outside triggers, such as pollution and pollen.
- Keep your home free of dust and pet hair. If you have pets, make sure to vacuum once a day. Make sure to dust often, and if you can, use a cloth, not a feather duster, and very little chemical sprays.
- Keep your child’s room as fabric-free as possible. Use wood furniture and window shades instead of drapes. Place a dehumidifier in or near the room, and wash all linens often, at least once a week, in very hot water.
- Do not allow anyone to smoke in your house or around your child. If anyone in your family smokes, encourage them to quit, not only for the health of your child, but for their own.
- Change your air filters often, at least twice a year, in spring and fall.
- Be careful about using hair spray, powder, perfume or make-up around your child.
- Find out what foods may trigger an asthma attack in your child. Remove those foods from his diet.
- During pollen season, make sure to keep your windows tightly closed. Limit the amount of time your child spends outside during these seasons.
- If aspirin causes an asthma attack in your child, ask your doctor about what other medicines she can take when she has a fever or a cold.
Support In Trigger Situations
- Encourage your child to do some moderate exercise every day. The more he stays in shape, the less likely exercise will trigger an attack.
- If your child is going to be moving from one temperature extreme to another, try to make the change an easy one, such as wrapping her up in a coat and muffler before she exits a warm house to the cold outdoors.
- Keep your child indoors when pollution levels are high. Don’t let him play near streets or parking lots where many cars are coming and going.
- If stress triggers your child’s attacks, encourage open communication. Keep your child calm during crisis situations. Let her know that she will handle any situation best if she is cool, calm, and collected. This could prevent futureasthma attacks if you are not around to assist her.
- Sometimes, an older child may want to ignore his asthma. He may sometimes “forget” his inhaler or lose it if he takes it with him on an outing. He is probably very frustrated with his disease and wishes he could live a life uncomplicated by wheezes and medicine. The best way you can support your child if this happens is let him know you understand how he feels. Make sure to listen and if he knows he has you on his side, he’ll listen to you as well. After hearing him out, explain how important it is to follow his treatment plan so that he can go through his day without being bothered byasthma. If you project a helpful, understanding attitude, rather than a demanding one, he will probably take your advice and stay healthy by following his doctor’s orders.