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ASTHMA-FREE SANCTUARY FOR KIDS


No compromises when it comes to keeping pets and snacks away from the rooms the family uses the most.

By Sonia Javelosa-Silos, M.D.



MAY 2011


Asthma is a serious problem that can attack anytime, anywhere. To help asthmatic kids (and adults) live more normal lives, keeping a clean, dust-free home is recommended. Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways. Though its exact cause is unknown, it apparently results from a complex interaction of predisposing factors, like the tendency to have allergies, with the following triggers:

·   animal dander;
·   dust mites;
·   mold;
·   cockroaches;
·   tobacco smoke during pregnancy and childhood;
·   respiratory infections like tonsillitis, sinusitis, or pneumonia; and
·   indoor and outdoor air quality.


Any one or a combination of these can make an asthmatic cough, wheeze, and have trouble breathing.

A 2004 U.S. National Institutes of Health study found removing various allergens or the substances that cause an allergic reaction from the home can be effective in reducing symptoms among children, ages five to 11 years, with moderate to severe asthma—specifically if a multipronged approach was used.

The study examined the children’s sensitivity to certain indoor allergens and evidence of exposures at home to known asthma triggers, including tobacco smoke, dust mites, cockroaches, pets, rodents, and molds. Researchers noted the greater the drop in household cockroach or dust mite allergen levels, the greater the reduction in asthma symptoms—suggesting allergy-reducing measures can make a difference.


Squeaky clean


Dr. Arturo Ludan, a pediatrician at the Capitol Medical Center in Mandaluyong City, suggests top three rules to keep the house clean and irritants-free:

Avoid accumulating too many things (books, magazines, boxes) that can gather dust.

- Do not use strong pesticides, perfume, and hairspray in the presence of a family member with asthma as these trigger attacks.

-  Say no to cigarette smoke.

Dr. Ludan adds, “The most harmful environmental allergen is cigarette smoke, not just first-hand but secondhand and third-hand smoke as it sticks to the sofa, drapes, etc. In other words, there should absolutely be no smoking inside or outside the house.”


For more information about asthma and your home, check out the May 2011 issue of Health Today now available on the newsstands.


ALSO IN THE HEALTH TODAY MAY ISSUE:


Birth spacing makes a big difference. Why planning the next pregnancy is beneficial to you and your partner.


An asthma-free sanctuary for kids. Keys to keep your tots from asthma attacks at home.


Coping with calamities. A survival guide for earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear disasters.


Half-alive: a survivor’s struggle. A stable support system can help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder.


Asthma-free Sanctuary for kids
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