Should You Be Concerned

Cockroaches, flies, rats, and mice carry disease and can get into food. Roaches and house dust mites can make allergies and asthma worse. Fleas and ticks riding into the home on pets or clothing can carry disease. The bites of rats and certain spiders can make children and others very ill. Pesticides are things like bug spray, pet flea collars, rat poison, bleach, and garden weed killer that can prevent and kill pests. Pesticides can pose a real danger if you...

Control Other Pests

Roaches and rodents can trigger asthma and allergies. They need food, water, warmth, and shelter to survive. You can control roaches, mice, and other pests by making these things hard to get. (See the chapter on pesticides on page 42 to learn more about how to handle pests.) Here are some tips to keep pests away Store food in tightly sealed containers. Clean up crumbs and spills right away. Wash your dirty dishes right after eating. Don't leave out pet food or water overnight. Seal cracks where...

Questions to

Does anyone in your family have asthma or allergies Does a family member notice burning eyes, coughing, or sneezing that happens most often while at home Does anyone in your home have chronic bronchitis or another lung disease Have you ever tested your home for radon Do any of your neighbors have problems with radon gas If so, you might also have a radon problem. Do some areas in your home smell damp or musty Have you seen cockroaches in your home Do you know how to safely run and take care of...

Children

But there are special reasons to think about children Children's bodies are still growing. Their young brains, livers, and other organs are more likely to be harmed by chemicals and other dangers than those of adults. If children get sick, it may be harder for them to get well because their immune systems are still developing. For their size, children eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than adults do. When they get lead in their bodies or...

Warning Signs of an Asthma Attack

People with asthma who learn to spot the early signs of an attack can take medicine right away. This may make the attack less severe. The most important thing to know about asthma is that you can control it. Asthma patients (or their parents) who learn what medicine to take and what triggers attacks can avoid them most of the time. That means people with asthma can lead normal lives. Many types of medicine can treat asthma. Keep in mind that no one medicine works best for everyone. You and your...

Allergies

Common signs of allergies include runny or stuffy noses, coughing, hives, itching, a rash, or puffy eyes. Allergies can be deadly for some people. When sensitive people come in contact with something they're very allergic to, like peanuts, their blood pressure drops, their breathing tubes swell up, and they can die from lack of air. The good news is that allergies can be treated. If you have allergies, it's important to find out what causes them and how to take care of them. A doctor can test...

Asthma Triggers

Lots of things set off asthma attacks, though. These things are called triggers. Some people have only one or two triggers. Other people have many. Some triggers are things to which people are often allergic. Common ones are pollen (from trees and flowers) and dander (skin flakes from cats, dogs, and other pets). Also, some people are allergic to pests such as roaches, rodents, or dust mites. Dust mites are tiny spiders that you can't see. They live everywhere...

Common Allergens

An allergen is something that causes allergy signs, or an allergic reaction. Many of the asthma triggers listed on page 12 also cause allergic reactions in people who don't have asthma. There are many other allergens too. Some common ones are listed here. It's important to talk to your doctor if you have had a reaction to any of these Foods milk and dairy products, citrus fruit like oranges and lemons, artificial colors and flavors, nuts, and shellfish like shrimp or clams. Medicines...

What Happens During an Asthma Attack

Asthma flare-ups are called asthma attacks. During an attack, the breathing tubes in your lungs, called bronchi and bronchioles, get smaller. During an asthma attack The breathing tubes in your lungs swell up The muscles around these tubes tighten The tubes make large amounts of a thick fluid called mucus You cannot catch asthma. It does run in families though. If someone in your family has it, you or your children may too. The number of asthma cases is growing, and more people die from it...

Why Should You Be Concerned

Some of the most serious health problems for children may start at home. This booklet explains some of these health concerns and what you can do about them. Most people spend over 90 of their time indoors. Is the air in your home healthy The air inside can be more harmful to your family's health than the air outdoors. Air can be unhealthy if it has too many pollutants. Indoor air pollutants can be lots of things from oven cleaner to cigarette smoke to mold. It is not always easy to tell if your...