Asthma is a disease of the lungs. Its onset often occurs in childhood and it usually runs in families. In fact, 60 percent of cases are hereditary. Overall, there are about 300 million people all over the world who suffer from it.

Asthma is a serious and very scary disease since sufferers literally find themselves fighting to breathe. During an attack, the air flow from the lungs is obstructed by the constriction of smooth muscles and swelling of the airway linings. It definitely has a very negative effect on people’s lives.

Preventing Asthma

As difficult as having asthma is for an adult, it’s even so much worse when a helpless little child struggles with it. If you’re a parent and you’re aware that asthma runs in your or your spouse’s family, you’re wont to do all you can to prevent the disease from manifesting in your children.

What can you do to discourage the onset of asthma? Here are some tips for moms whose children are at higher risk for asthma.

1.     Avoid known triggers.

Even if asthma usually develops in early childhood, it’s possible that sufferers don’t experience their first attack until they’re grown up.

Adult-onset asthma cannot be predicted, so if the possibility is there, the most prudent course is to steer clear of common triggers from the get-go. These are what lead to inflammation in the airways, which, in turn, causes asthma to flare up.

What are some of these notorious triggers?

·         Dust mites

These are minute insects that latch onto human skin and hair and feed on them. They thrive in dusty beds, carpets, upholstered furniture, and plush toys. They can be avoided by regular vacuuming and dusting. In case of an infestation, steam clean at temperatures hotter than 55 degrees Celsius.

·         Pets

Restrict your children’s exposure to animals that are known to cause allergies. Contrary to what many believe, the fur isn’t the allergenic culprit. The body reacts to a protein found in pet dander or dead skin flakes, urine, saliva, and feathers. This is why about 30 percent of asthmatics are allergic to animals.

·         Tobacco smoke

This is one of the worst triggers. Breathing in secondhand smoke is just as bad as smoking itself. If you’re a parent who smokes, you should quit posthaste. Not only is it bad for you, but you’re posing a threat to your children’s health, too. Is that idea something you can live with?

·         Powdery substances

Those tiny particles that can easily be inhaled but have no business entering the lungs, such as dust and talcum powder, are considered irritants and are detrimental to the organ’s health. They can also trigger an attack.

2.     Keep a healthy weight.

There are studies indicating that obese children are at higher risk for asthma. There are several possible reasons behind this, but it is generally thought that excess weight causes inflammation, a factor for incurring the disease.

3.     Teach them to manage stress.

Kids have their own stresses to deal with. More than half of asthmatics consider stress a trigger since it stimulates the “fight or flight” hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), which do induce fast and shallow breathing, putting them at risk of asthma symptoms such chest tightness and coughing. By teaching your kids to manage their emotions and reactions, they’ll learn to handle stress better.

4.     Keep yourself healthy during pregnancy.

If you or your spouse has a history of asthma, make sure that you have a healthy pregnancy free of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and stress. You want to raise your kids’ odds of dodging the asthmatic gene, so making your lifestyle as wholesome as possible is a proactive measure.

5.     Breastfeed your children.

One of the best ways for you to protect your children is to boost their immune system. That’s why breastfeeding is best for baby. A mother’s milk strengthens children’s immunity against disease, helping avoid lung problems and the juvenile onset of asthma.

Consistent Effort

It’s heartbreaking to see children suffering from asthma. Your best defense is to consistently keep their little bodies as healthy (and their environment as safe) as possible for all.