Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children. Symptoms include repeated attacks of shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. An asthma attack occurs when the airways contract, swell, and clog up with mucus. Attacks can persist for minutes, even hours. A child suffering from asthma is affected by all aspects of his surroundings. The environment a child is exposed to, including home, school, and being outdoors can greatly impact a child's asthma. Sports, exercise, diet, emotions, and allergies can play a part in triggering an attack. All aspects of a child's life are affected by his asthma. If a child's asthma is properly maintained, attacks can be controlled. .
Families with an asthmatic child should take precautions in their home to prevent attacks from occurring as frequently. Health and medical writer, Chris Woolston, gives examples of a few simple things that can be done to make a great impact on your child's condition. Pollen allergies can be lessened by keeping your windows closed in peak pollen season. Special air filters can be placed in your heating and cooling systems to reduce allergens. Dust mites can live in pillows and mattresses; you should wash your child's linens once a week. Also, your child's bedroom should be vacuumed once a week, or consider taking out the carpet all together. Airtight encasings for pillows and mattresses can be used to lower the exposure to allergens. Tobacco smoke is also one of the worst triggers for an asthma attack. If you smoke, you shouldn't smoke in your child's surroundings. Cat dander is also an offender to asthma. If your child has an asthmatic condition, maybe you should reconsider your decision of having a cat in your family ("Preventing"). Ibreathe.com is a website used to educate families about asthma. The website suggests making family time as enjoyable as possible by planning outdoor activities at times when pollen counts are low.