Posts Tagged "Air Quality"

19Sep2020

You may already be working hard to protect your child from common asthma triggers, such as seasonal allergens, tobacco smoke, excessive dust in your home, and the dander from household pets. However, what you may not realize is that some of the most common chemicals that you use for cleaning your home may actually be what is causing your child’s difficult breathing episodes. In particular, disinfectants, many of which are being used heavily during these days of COVID-19, can be particularly problematic for children and even adults who already have chronic respiratory issues. Here is how you can ensure that your house stays clean while keeping your loved ones safe.

Use Products As Directed

Be sure you never mix chemicals and disinfectants, and never use more than is recommended on the bottle.

Find Safe Products

Some chemicals are more apt to cause asthma attacks than others are. Try choosing products certified by the EPA’s Safer Choice program, such as those containing hydrogen peroxide or ethyl alcohol. Avoid bleach and ammonia-containing products as well as products with added fragrances.

Improve Household Ventilation While Cleaning

Consider opening doors and windows while cleaning, if possible. You can also turn on exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms. If possible, install a high-efficiency air filter in your HVAC system.

Clean One Area of the House at a Time

By focusing on a single area at a time and ensuring that your child stays in an area that is not being cleaned, you can keep her away from chemical-laden triggers. If she does happen to experience an asthma attack in a recently cleaned area, move her into an area with better ventilation.

You can recognize an asthma flare-up in your child if she suddenly begins taking quick, shallow breaths or starts wheezing or coughing. If your child has an inhaler for use during flare-ups, you should have her use it immediately. If the problem does not resolve quickly, you will need to seek emergency medical care for your child.

13Jul2019

According to the American Lung Association, asthma is the most common condition that chronically affects children in the U.S. These children often experience flareups, which could occur from nearly anything, including allergens, chemicals, stress, excitement, and exercise. In the summer, one of the most concerning triggers that parents should be aware of is the hot outdoor air.

Factors Affecting Air Quality

Just when parents are finally able to let their children play outside, they may have to tell them to stay inside instead if the forecast is showing a string of particularly hot, sunny days. The reason for this is that the ozone in the air, which is produced by ultraviolet light from the sun, can increase exponentially on these sunniest of days. Those living in urban areas are particularly at risk, but wind can push the excessive levels of ozone nearly anywhere, including into more rural areas that are typically assumed to have clean and healthy air. 

Children who spend much time outdoors during weather like this may find that they have a harder time than normal with breathing, and they may cough much more frequently. However, this weather can be particularly harmful to children with asthma who may be forced to reach for their rescue inhalers or to take a trip to urgent care. This is because the ozone that they breathe in reacts with the tissues deep inside their lungs to create irritating toxins.

Pay Attention to Air Quality Reports

Parents of children with asthma should carefully monitor air quality. They may be able to do this through the newspaper or through a weather app on their smartphones, but they should know that not all poor air quality days make it onto official alerts. Instead, they may want to find a local app using information from the Environmental Protection Agency that will display up-to-the-minute ozone levels. 

In addition, parents will want to make sure that they keep their children inside during the hottest parts of the day, plan most outdoor activities for the morning, have children take plenty of breaks indoors and find plenty of fun activities for the indoors. In addition, they should be sure that they know exactly where their child’s rescue inhaler is and should know how to use it. 

If you are concerned about your child’s breathing or need a new inhaler prescription for your child, schedule an appointment with Kids 1st Pediatrics today.