Weekends are a time for running errands, catching up with friends and family, and the unfortunate task of cleaning the house. It’s usually the last thing on our list that we want to do, however, what if it helped keep asthma symptoms in control, especially for children? One in every 10 children has asthma. This is important, especially this time of year with cold weather, germs, colds and the flu circulating. Viruses can often lead to bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory issues for those with asthma.

Keeping allergens outdoors and minimizing indoor allergens can reduce asthma symptoms in children, and the need for additional medication. This means leaving shoes at the door, vacuuming, dusting, mopping; and washing sheets, throw rugs, towels and other bedding materials in hot water weekly. Dust is a major source of allergies and asthma. It is very important to keep it under control inside the home.

The top two indoor allergens that cause asthma flare-ups and symptoms are mold and dust mites. Roughly half of kids with asthma have sensitivities to mold. These are also easy to prevent. Dusting, vacuuming and using proper ventilation and fans can minimize these allergens in the home. The other allergens to try and avoid are smoke, cockroaches, fragrances (air fresheners, perfumes), chemicals, cleaning products, and pet dander.

The most important step to understanding your child’s asthma is to visit a specialist first. They will perform pulmonary function tests to check their breathing, as well as an allergy test to see if any allergens are causing problems. This will not only help you understand what important things to keep out of your home, but also how to better filter air and keep it clean indoors.

Once you know which allergens trigger asthma symptoms you can start revamping your house to a healthy home. If they are allergic to pets (two-thirds of children with asthma are), you will definitely need to keep the pets out of their bedrooms, and off of any furniture. It’s also best with dander and dust mite allergies to replace carpeting with flooring. It is easier to remove hair and dust from floors than carpet. Hairs tend to get embedded in carpet, furniture, blankets, clothes and more. If someone smokes in the house, this is a difficult thing to change. Keeping it outdoors is best; however, second-hand smoke lingers on clothes and in hair. This can cause breathing problems for those with asthma.

If your child is having frequent asthma symptoms, flare-ups or any other related health issues, contact their physician. They will create an action plan and prescribe necessary medications to get your child’s health back on track. Asthma is a serious, chronic condition which affects the lungs. Don’t let your child suffer from asthma symptoms and attacks. They can live a normal, healthy, active lifestyle with the proper treatment.