Tips for Reducing Asthma Triggers in Your Home
- Do not allow any smoke, like tobacco, candles, or incense, in the house or in your child’s bedroom.
- Eat only in the kitchen, clean up spills right away, and take out garbage daily so roaches and mice don’t come inside.
- Use unscented products for cleaning, no perfumes, plugins, or air fresheners.
- Wash blankets, sheets, and pillowcases in hot water every week.
- Keep stuffed animals out of the bed or wash in hot water or freeze them for 24 hours every week.
- Vacuum once a week when your child is not in the room, using a double-layer bag or HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
Medications and Asthma Action Plan
Ask your primary care provider for an Asthma Action Plan and give a copy to everyone who cares for your child, including the school nurse. A written Asthma Action Plan lists the medications that your child will take to help control their asthma. Remember to keep the Asthma Action Plan in a place where the whole family can see it – like on the refrigerator. The Asthma Action Plan is broken down into three sections:
- Green Zone: This section has the controller, or maintenance, medications that your child will take every day to prevent symptoms. Your child should take these medications daily until a healthcare provider tells you to stop. Examples of common medications in the green zone are: Flovent (Fluticasone), Montelukast (Singular), Zyrtec (Cetirizine), etc.
- Yellow Zone: This section has the rescue medication your child will take when they have asthma symptoms. Albuterol is a common rescue inhaler in the yellow zone.
- Red Zone: If you child has increasing symptoms and medications in the yellow zone are no longer providing relief, then they are likely in the red zone. Based on this section you will give your child more albuterol in a shorter period of time and make your way to the emergency room or to see a healthcare provider.
Your child should see her or his primary care provider (pediatrician) every three months all year round for ongoing asthma care and planning. Scheduling appointments every three months makes sure that your child will have refills for their medications. Remember to schedule these appointments in advance to talk about asthma and make sure your child stays healthy going into the next season.