Decreasing irritants that can trigger asthma attacks is an important part of your child’s asthma care plan. These measures don’t take the place of your child’s medicines, but they can help lower the frequency of respiratory problems. If you have additional questions, please discuss them with your doctor or nurse.

  • No one should smoke cigarettes or cigars around a child with asthma. Irritating smoke particles can cling to clothes, draperies, upholstery and curtains. If people must smoke, they should do so outside and wear a coat or jacket to keep smoke from clinging to their indoor clothing.
  • Avoid heating with wood. Wood smoke can be irritating to the lungs.
  • Avoid stuffed toys and clutter, especially in the child’s bedroom.
  • Pets should not be allowed in the child’s room. Wash pets weekly and brush often to decrease shedding.
  • Dust the room one to two times a week.
  • Hardwood, tile or vinyl flooring is preferable to carpeting.
  • Vacuum carpeting at least weekly.
  • A child with asthma should be out of the room during vacuuming or vigorous dusting.
  • Vacuum upholstery regularly.
  • A HEPA air purifier may be helpful to decrease airborne allergens. Many insurance policies will cover the cost of a HEPA air purifier for the child’s room.
  • Avoid using humidifiers because they may increase mold growth.
  • When someone is ill, use separate towels.
  • All family members should wash hands often.

Although it may seem like a lot of work, an environment with fewer asthma triggers will help your child stay healthy and decrease the need for extra medicines.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.