talking to kids about asthma triggers

When kids have asthma, they need to understand the illness and the things that can trigger an attack. Here's advice on how to do that with your child


Dr. Kathy Sheerin, of the Atlanta Allergy Clinic in Atlanta. GA shares talking points for parents to use when teaching their kids about how to avoid an asthma attack

Teaching About Asthma Triggers


Draw a Picture for Them

Use game play as a means for teaching preschool age kids about asthma triggers. For example, little ones can draw pictures of the things they need to avoid, such as cats, dogs, pollen laden flowers, damp or dusty places.

Say Goodnight Mr. Snuggles

Explain why Mr. Snuggles can't sleep with your child every night, and show her how to "tuck" him in by placing him into a storage container for him and similar plush toys that a potential dust collectors. This may be tough, but stuffed animals collect dust and dust mites if slept with regularly.

However, if your child just can't sleep without a nightly companion, consider taking your child to the toy store to pick out a new night time friend who is hypo-allergenic and can be tossed in the washer and dryer weekly.

Freeze Time

But if your child just can't bear to sleep with out Mr. Snuggles, consider putting him into deep your freezer that is. Dr. Sheerin suggests, "placing them in there for 24 hours once every three weeks." Doing this kills the dust mites, which Sheerin's son who also is an asthma sufferer, thinks is so cool.

Away From Home Advice

Talk to kids about triggers away from home, too--like at school (chalk dust, furry class pets, or even a teacher's heavy perfume). The two places you need to tell kids to be most careful are at play(see "Asthma & Active Kids"), around chalkboard and chalk dust, and art class.

"Remind your child to always bring his inhaler to art class," warns Dr. Sheerin. "Many art materials such as paints have a strong smell that can bring on an episode." If the odor becomes too overwhelming, your child may have to step outside until he stops coughing.

Don't Leave Home Without It

And as always, if your child has an inhaler, make sure he never leaves home without it, and knows what sign to look out for when he needs to use it.
Important Disclaimer: This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a doctor with questions about your or your child's condition. does not recommend or endorse specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information provided by any sponsors or other third parties. Please also see Terms of Use.
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