A-Choo, Sniffle, Sniffle

Green Your Kids — By on April 11, 2011 8:50 AM

According to the NY Times, the prevalence of childhood asthma rose 100% between 1985 and 2001.  I am sure it is MUCH worse now!  It has become a major public health problem.  Asthma affects nearly one in every twelve school age kids, making it the most chronic childhood illness in the US. 

Asthma is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.  Allergens, viruses, preexisting food allergies or sensitivities, and poor air quality can all trigger asthma in a susceptible child.  Asthma, like most allergies, is much easier to prevent than to cure.  To reduce your child’s vulnerability, try to eliminate all the potential asthma triggers in your home.  These things would include mold, pollen, certain foods you recognize your child is sensitive to (they might complain of a stomach ache after they eat or have gas) and tobacco smoke.  Wash bed sheets regularly, especially pillow cases.  Vacuum and dust daily if possible.  Your home shouldn’t be too clean, that’s not good either.  Your child is learning to build up immunities to these allergies that they will hopefully grow out of as they get older.  But if your child has too many allergens around them it will lower their immune system and make them much more vulnerable to asthma attacks.   For instance, if it is a particularly bad allergy day (watch the news, they will give you pollen counts) then it is important to monitor the foods that your child eats and make sure they are not ones that you have found to be hard on their digestion.  This will make their allergies worse.  Also, try to get them to sleep a little earlier that night so their body can strengthen and heal.

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