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What You Can Do About Asthma

Submitted by CCCEHcolumbia on May 18, 2016 at 12:21pm.
Get Healthy Heights Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health

What You Can Do:
Controlling bugs and pests in your home
Not smoking while pregnant or smoking in the home or car
Eliminating acetaminophen intake during pregnancy
Cleaning up mold
Reduce the spread of the cold and flu

Reduce pest allergens at home
Integrated Pest Management is a set of safe, low-toxic methods for keeping your home clean of pests such as cockroaches and rodents. Clearing clutter, eating only in the kitchen, and using low-toxic pest control products (baits and gels) can do a lot to minimize pests in the home and keeping you and your children safe from toxic pesticides — especially aerosols, which can trigger attacks in family members with asthma. See lots of tips about using IPM at home.

Don’t smoke at home or in the car and don’t allow anyone else to either
Exposure to secondhand smoke, combined with levels of air pollution found in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx, increases children’s risk of developing asthma. If you or someone in your home must smoke, do it outdoors where smoke disperses. Do not smoke at home or in the car where smoke gets trapped and stays in the air and upholstery.

Clean up mold
Mold may trigger asthma. Mold grows in damp places such as kitchens and bathrooms. You can make a simple, safe cleaner to remove mold. For example, you can mix one gallon of water and one cut of non-chlorine bleach together. Use exhaust fans or open a window in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking, or washing dishes to reduce moisture in the air.

Reduce the spread of the cold or flu
Colds and flu can cause asthma-like symptoms. Make sure you and your child wash your hands often, with soap and warm water. Make it a habit! Use an antibacterial hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to soap and water. If you have a cold, don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth because you can spread germs.

Join a clean air campaign in your community
Several community groups in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx are working to improve air quality. They are getting new laws passed that reduce bus and truck traffic and require the use of new technologies that lower diesel emissions. These organizations are also working hard to prevent new sources of pollution from being put in their neighborhoods, and ensuring that existing polluters — such as power plants and waste transfer stations — are doing everything possible to minimize pollution. Many groups are planting trees that absorb bad chemicals and put more oxygen in our air, and building parks to increase green space. More community clean air campaign successes.

If you or your child already has asthma:
Be certain to visit your doctor regularly and have a good self-care plan to follow at home. Many asthma attacks can be prevented if you and your doctor can identify triggers and ways to avoid those triggers. Trips to the emergency room can also be prevented if good self-care practices are in place. If you or someone in your family has asthma and you don’t already have an asthma care plan, use this Asthma Action Plan from Kids Health; print out the form and take it to your doctor to fill out together.

Source: Kids Health

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