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12 Steps to Making Your Home an Asthma-Safe Environment

For the estimated 20 million Americans who currently have asthma, finding out what triggers your symptoms is the first step in gaining control of the disease. This can be a daunting task, as so many things, from viruses to particles in the air, can contribute.

The good news is that the place where most of us spend the majority of our time -- in our homes -- is also one of the easiest places to control potential asthma triggers (much easier than outdoor triggers). Taking the steps necessary to asthma-proof your home can reduce your symptoms and your risk of having an asthma attack.

1. Don't smoke inside. The best option, of course, is to not smoke at all. But if this is not an option, don't smoke inside your home. Tobacco smoke is one of the most common asthma triggers out there, and once it's in your home it can be hard to get out.

2. Use air conditioning, not open windows. When the windows are open, pollen, mold spores and air pollution can get in and trigger asthma symptoms and attacks. Using the air conditioning allows you to stay cool while keeping indoor humidity levels down. This, in turn, will help control other potential triggers like mold and dust mites. Be careful not to make the room too cold (or too hot with heat), as sudden changes in temperature could be problematic.

September and October are when asthma attack rates and related hospitalizations are at their highest for children, according to the American Lung Association.

3. Wash bedding once a week. Doing this weekly, in hot water, will help keep dust mites under control. You can also cover mattresses and pillows with dust-proof covers. Dust mites are actually tiny, microscopic spiders, and they're everywhere. To keep them to a bare minimum, remove carpet from the bedroom, dust often and avoid extra items that may collect dust (such as curtains, stuffed animals, under-the-bed storage, knick-knacks, etc.).

4. Think twice before getting a pet. Dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs -- even birds -- can trigger asthma symptoms. There's virtually no such thing as an "allergy-free" pet (fish might be the exception), as their dander and saliva gets into the air. So if you have asthma you may want to opt to stay pet-free. If you already have a pet, consider keeping them outdoors, and definitely keep them out of your bedroom.

5. Watch out for unwanted pests. Cockroaches are actually one of the more common, but less-known, asthma triggers. Why? Small pieces of dead roaches and their droppings settle into your household dust, which is then circulated into the air you breathe.

Keep your home cockroach-free by diligently cleaning up crumbs and food spills, not leaving food out on counters, storing food in airtight containers, fixing leaks, wiping up standing water and removing clutter where roaches may choose to call home.

6. Use pesticides wisely. Any type of chemical can trigger asthma symptoms. If you must use pesticides in your home, the bait or trap varieties are less invasive than sprays or foggers. In the event that pesticides are sprayed indoors, be sure to keep the room well ventilated and keep the person with asthma away from the area for at least several hours.

7. Get rid of mold. Mold is another common trigger for asthma (and allergies), as tiny spores get into the air you breath. The key to keeping mold away is to control moisture levels in your home.

In areas with high humidity (bathrooms, kitchens, basements), keep air circulating, clean them often and consider investing in a dehumidifier to take moisture out of the air (remember to empty the water in the dehumidifier regularly, or the container could form its own mold).

Avoid spraying hair spray, perfume or other personal care products around a family member with asthma.

Other lesser-known sources of mold could include foam pillows (wash them once a week to prevent this) and houseplants. If mold has taken over ceiling tiles or walls, you may need to contact a professional for mold removal.

8. Keep air moving. By having a well-ventilated home, you'll reduce moisture and help control mold, dust mites and cockroaches. Use your exhaust fans while cooking and showering, and fix any leaks in plumbing right away.

9. Filter your home's air. Many airborne particles that may trigger asthma symptoms can be removed by doing so.

10. Avoid wood-burning fireplaces. Even though you may be tempted to light the fireplace on a cold night, the smoke can be a problem for people with asthma.

The Largely Unknown Key to Keep
Your Indoor Air Clean

Waterhog Grand Premier Mats and Rugs

Every step you take into your home presents an opportunity for dirt and toxins to get in, circulate in your air and trigger asthma symptoms. That's why the Waterhog Grand Premier Mats and Rugs, placed at your home's entranceways and highly trafficked areas, are essential to keeping your home air clean!

These premier and highly attractive mats and rugs:

  • Keep Dirt and Liquids Beneath Shoe Level
  • Dry Very Fast and Resist Corrosion
  • Won't Slip
  • Last Much Longer Than Other Mats
  • Are Simple to Clean
  • Are Attractive and Affordable
  • Can be used Indoors or Outdoors
  • Come in a Variety of Colors & Sizes

Learn Why You Should Avoid Mats Made of Other Materials, and Discover Why the Waterhog Grand Premier Mats are Superior

11. Don't use perfumes/aftershaves. Any type of personal care product that contains fragrance can trigger asthma symptoms. This could include perfume, hair care products, soap, lotions and deodorants -- even fragranced laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets. Look for unscented, pure alternatives instead such as the Static Eliminator non-toxic dryer sheets. And, don't spray perfume or hair care products around someone with asthma.

12. Keep dust out of your home. Several thousand dust mites, along with a host of other allergic particles, can be found in just a pinch of household dust. A few high-quality mats, like the Waterhog Grand Premier Mats, placed strategically around your home (such as in doorways and other highly trafficked areas), will go a long way toward reducing the amount of dirt and dust that get into your home in the first place. Once inside, that dirt gets circulated into the air, and you breathe it in.

You can also keep house dust to a minimum by using the right cleaning tools. The PerfectClean line of mops, dusters, towels and more, which are used by leading hospitals and other health care organizations are ideal for this. Rather than just pushing dust around, or worse, stirring it up into the air, PerfectClean products are made with positively charged ultramicrofibers that pick up everything in their path -- including dust and all of its microscopic attachments.

Recommended Reading

The 6 Most Dangerous Home-Based Causes of Disease and Illness

50% of U.S. Population Has Allergies, Most Don't Realize it & Suffer Unnecessarily ... Do You?

U.S. EPA: Clearing the Air of Asthma Triggers

American Lung Association

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