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Health Information For Parents
One way to help manage your child’s asthma is to avoid asthma triggers. These are things that are harmless to most people, but can cause flare-ups in kids with asthma.
Common asthma triggers include:
Other, less common triggers include laughing, crying, and use of some medicines.
Kids can’t avoid all triggers all the time. But watching carefully to learn what those triggers are and then helping your child avoid them can keep asthma symptoms under control.
Triggers are different for each child. Some might cause asthma symptoms only at particular times of the year. Others might stop being a trigger as a child gets older and “outgrows” asthma.
You’ll work with your doctor to find your child’s triggers. The doctor may suggest keeping an asthma diary to record your child’s symptoms, medicines, and peak flow readings. You can also write down when and where symptoms happened to help you identify possible triggers.
If your doctor thinks allergens are triggers, your child might need an allergy skin test.
Allergens are one of the most common asthma triggers. They include:
It’s impossible to avoid all allergens, but you can minimize them in your home. Focus on the rooms where your child sleeps and plays:
Irritants can affect anyone — even someone who doesn’t have asthma. They’re not usually a serious problem, but for kids with asthma, they can lead to swollen airways and flare-ups.
Common irritants include:
Here are some ways to reduce household irritants:
Respiratory infections, such as colds or the flu, can be hard to avoid. For kids with asthma, breathing problems triggered by colds can last days or even weeks after the cold has gone away.
Teach everyone in your family the importance of hand washing. Kids 6 months and older should get the annual flu vaccine. This is especially important for kids with asthma, who are at greater risk for health problems if they get the flu.
Some weather conditions can trigger asthma flare-ups, including:
If weather conditions are a trigger, keep an eye on the forecast and limit your child’s time outdoors on problem days. If cold weather is a trigger, cover your child’s nose and mouth with a scarf. If hot, humid weather is a problem, keep your child in an air-conditioned environment.
In some cases, your child’s medicine dose may need to be increased.
Exercise might be the only trigger for some kids with asthma. Along with allergens, this is one of the more common triggers. It can be a particular problem in someone whose asthma isn’t well managed. But this is one trigger that your child should not avoid because exercise is important for overall health.
Don’t discourage being active or playing sports. Instead, talk with your doctor about what your child should do before, during, and after exercise. This may include taking medicine before working out or playing a sport.
Gastroesophageal reflux is when the contents of the stomach flow backward into the esophagus. Some kids also inhale these contents into the lungs, which can harm airways and make asthma worse.
If reflux is a trigger, treating it can help your child’s asthma symptoms.
Asthma keeps more kids home from school than any other chronic illness. Learn how to help your child manage the condition, stay healthy, and stay in school.
Allergies don’t cause asthma, but kids who have allergies are more likely to get asthma.
Asthma control can take a little time and energy to master, but it’s worth the effort. Learn more about ways to manage your child’s asthma.
Find out how to deal with â and help prevent â asthma flare-ups (“attacks”), which is when asthma symptoms get worse.
Ground-level ozone and other air pollutants can trigger asthma flare-ups. But there are steps you can take to minimize your child’s exposure.
Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma.
Asthma means breathing problems. Find out what’s going on in the lungs and how to stay healthy, if you have it.
Find out what can make your asthma worse, and what to do about it.
Here’s steps to remove or minimize triggers at home that cause asthma flare-ups.
Many kids with asthma have symptoms when they exercise. But with careful management, they usually can do anything their peers can do.
If dust mites make your child’s asthma or allergies worse, here’s how to limit exposure to them.
If mold makes your child’s asthma or allergies worse, learn how to limit exposure to it.
If pollen makes your child’s asthma or allergies worse, learn how to limit exposure it.
If strong scents, smoke, and smog make your child’s asthma or allergies worse, learn how to limit contact with these irritants.
Find out how to limit exposure to cockroaches if they make your child’s asthma or allergies worse.
If you have asthma, you want to breathe easy at home. Find out how in this article for kids.
Asthma flare-ups, or attacks, can be handled, but it’s even better if you can prevent them from happening. Find out how to deal with flare-ups.
If you have asthma, certain things may cause you to cough and have trouble breathing. Find out more about asthma triggers in this article for kids.
Do pets make your child’s allergies or asthma worse? Here’s how to handle it.
If you have asthma, you’re more likely to be allergic to a pet than someone who doesn’t have asthma. Find out what you can do.
Some people have asthma symptoms only during or after exercise. This is called exercise-induced asthma. Get some tips for coping with it in this article.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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