In the United States, 4.5 million children are living with asthma. Asthma can be a problem throughout the entire year, but it tends to get worse in the winter.
To help your child manage asthma in the winter, focus on avoiding the triggers that can prompt an attack. Triggers in your home can include dry air, dust, and other allergens. Learn more about the best tips for helping your child manage their asthma in the winter.
Use a Humidifier
Dry air irritates the entire respiratory system. This irritation makes it much easier for a child to have an asthma attack. Central heating is just as bad as air conditioning in this regard. Add humidifiers throughout the house to maintain a comfortable humidity level. If that’s not possible, place one in your child’s room.
If your child has asthma, removing allergens like dust is essential. Some people assume that dust is less of a concern in the colder months, but it is always a problem for people with asthma. It’s not the dust itself that causes the issue but the dust mites that live in it.
When cleaning dust from your home’s surfaces, don’t use feather dusters or dry cloths; these can move the dust into the air or onto other surfaces. Instead, turn to damp cloths.
Reduce Exposure to Smoke
For managing asthma in the winter, it’s important to minimize the exposure your child has to smoke. If someone in the household smokes, ensure that they do so outside.
Fireplaces and other wood-burning appliances can release chemicals into the air, making breathing more difficult for your child. If it’s possible, switch to a gas-burning option. It will offer the same cozy atmosphere without affecting your child’s respiratory system.
Reduce Fragrances and Air Fresheners
Perfumes, air fresheners, and even scented candles can all trigger an asthma attack. These products may contain many types of chemicals that cause irritation.
Instead, stick to boiling orange peels or cinnamon sticks on the stove, which can also help add humidity to the space. Keep in mind that even potpourri blends that claim to be all-natural might have powerful scents and chemicals.
Watch for Mold
Mold is a serious asthma trigger, so keeping an eye out for it throughout the year is vital. However, you might notice more mold growth in the winter because central heating can offer the right conditions for it to grow. Even before you see the mold, the spores may be an issue, so cleaning tubs, showers, and kitchen tiles every week is important.
If you have a shower curtain, make sure to wash it regularly since the humid environment in the bathroom encourages mold to grow. Piles of damp clothes in the bathroom or laundry room can also attract mold.
Consider Removing Carpets
Carpets can hold lots of allergies, including pollen, dust, and animal fur. If you have carpets of any kind, consider replacing them with hard surfaces. Tile and hardwood floors are the best choices because they are easy to dust and wash.
Of course, removing carpet from the entire house is not always feasible. If your child has carpet in their room, however, tackle that first. It can make a huge difference, especially during the winter months when children tend to spend more time indoors.
Choose Cleaners Wisely
Keeping surfaces clean and clear of dust means turning to household cleaners, but many of these products have strong fragrances and chemicals that can be a concern.
To help your child manage their asthma in the winter, read the label of every cleaner to see if it has strong fragrances or chemicals that can cause irritation.
There are lots of products that are made specifically for people who have allergies.
Helping Your Child Avoid Asthma Triggers
As the weather cools and the holiday season approaches, finding ways to prevent asthma attacks can seem even more difficult. By focusing on avoiding strong fragrances and chemicals, using a humidifier around the house, watching for mold, and using low-allergen cleaners, it’s possible to help your child.
At Newport Children’s Medical Group, we’re here to offer guidance and answer any questions you have about managing asthma in the winter. Contact us today for assistance!