By: Robin Wilson, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America Ambassador
Children with asthma are at a higher risk of contracting Enterovirus D68, also known as EV-D68, the respiratory virus suspected of hospitalizing hundreds of children across the United States.
If your children suffer from asthma, it’s especially important to be proactive now and take steps to keep their symptoms at a minimum.
- Water can help clear mucus buildup in the throat, and staying hydrated is one of the best all-around preventive steps you can take to maintain good health. Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight, but because we lose water throughout the day, replenish often.
- Keep dust at a minimum: Dust your home regularly and change air filters every 30 days. Dust is an irritant that is among the most common triggers for an asthma attack and related symptoms.
- Wash your hands often: This is pretty simple, but one the best ways to stay healthy. Your hands are the point of the body that have the most contact with the world, therefore they also are where we carry the most viruses, bacteria, dirt, dust and germs. EV-D68 is spread through close contact, just like the common cold. You can also be infected by touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them, then touching your face. Clean hands are always important, but especially now.
- Use a humidifier: Using a humidifier every night will help keep your breathing passages open and reduce irritants in the air. Clean it daily after usage with white vinegar to prevent mold buildup.
- Wash and change your pillow: In addition to using hypoallergenic pillows and comforters, be sure to use the “rule of 3” – wash your pillow every three months; replace every three years . This will prevent any buildup of triggers such as pollen and dust mites.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners: While the explanation is still being studied, there is strong evidence to suggest that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and food dyes can trigger asthma symptoms. Natural sweeteners are a better option for keeping asthma symptoms at bay.
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