Make Your Home Asthma-Friendly


Over 8 million children in the U.S. suffer from asthma. It also the leading cause why children miss school. This disease, which is characterized by attacks of tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, has no cure, but it can be controlled. To control asthma and prevent asthma attacks, it is important to understand what triggers attacks. Some common triggers that set off asthma attacks include cigarette smoke, pollen, pests, dust, mold, cleaning products, and the flu or colds. While there are some triggers in our environment we may not be able to control, we can control much of the environment in our own homes. If you or your child has asthma, there are certain action steps you can take to make your home asthma-friendly.

1. Dust

Start with keeping your home clean and clutter-free. Have someone in your household without asthma do the dusting and vacuuming, as this cleaning process puts dust in the air. You can also wear a dust-mask if you are asthmatic. Homes are easier to keep dust free with hard floors, instead of carpeting. If you do have rugs or carpets, vacuum them often. It’s also a good idea to store your belongings in boxes, instead of keeping them out in piles, since clutter collects dust. To keep down dust mites, wash your bedding and mattress pads every week with hot water. Water temperature above 130°F kills those pesky dust mites.

2. Animals

Pests can trigger asthma attacks. To control pests, such as roaches and mice, store your food away in containers, empty your garbage containers often, and wash your dishes right after using them. Our furry friends like dogs and cats can also trigger asthma. If you have pets inside, it’s a good idea to have them stay away from your sleeping areas and couches.

3. Smoking

Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke is not only problematic for asthmatic people, but also causes health problems in people without asthma. It is always the right time to quit smoking. You can call the free Montana Tobacco Quit Line Services at (800) 784-8669, contact the Sidney Health Center or Richland County Health Department for help. Otherwise, avoid smoking in your home, car and around children.

4. Mold

Mold is another annoying asthma trigger. To control mold in your home, keep it dry. Mold is often found in bathrooms, so it’s important to run a fan or open a window when showering or bathing. You can also wipe down your shower walls to reduce moisture. Also, increase the airflow in your house or apartment by opening closet doors and moving furniture away from walls.

For questions or resources on healthy homes contact Richland County Extension Agent Ludmila Keller at 406-433-1206 or e-mail [email protected].


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