Big news comes this month from the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to their research, the quality of air in our homes is just as important as a comprehensive treatment plan for children with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Asthma affects around 1 in 10 children in the US, with some communities suffering much higher rates of child asthma at a frightening 25%. That's 1 in 4 children suffering a potentially life threatening disease.
It has long been established that exposure to indoor air pollutants can have a significant effect on a child's asthma symptoms. Despite this, routine checks of a child's environment, to help families understand their child's asthma triggers, are very rarely carried out. General advice is given but what may cause a huge problem for one child may be perfectly safe for another.
Generally many children with persistent asthma are allergic to some or all of the following, the family pet, cats and dogs being the biggest culprit, household dust or more accurately the dust mite that lives in the dust, mold, as well as cockroach and mouse droppings. Second hand smoke is also a known trigger but just as dangerous can be smoke and fumes from household appliances such as gas stoves and fires. Chemicals and perfumes found in cleaning products can also cause some children's asthma to flare up.
All of the above are commonly found in our homes. So it is only through careful management and an understanding of how to keep the indoor air free from pollutants, will we have any chance of controlling a child's asthma, regardless of the medication they receive.
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