Home Asthma Prevention Off Track

Parents of asthma sufferers often jump through hoops in a never-ending effort to rid their homes of potential irritants that could trigger symptoms. However, a new study reports the steps parents take aren't necessarily those that will do the most good. And, not surpringly, they ignore others that may help.

The study listed some 1,800 steps parents took to help their asthmatic children. Only half could work while the rest were unproven, unhelpful and, occasionally, harmful.

Researchers pointed out their findings indicate a tremendous need for doctors and other health care providers to educate parents about what might be triggering their child's asthma symptoms and attacks, and about the most effective steps they can take to reduce their child's exposure to those substances.

Most often, parents reported taking steps to control their child's exposure to dust, dust mites and animals, and many said they were using special filters on ventilation systems and vacuum cleaners. All are generally recommended steps under national asthma guidelines, but many parents took steps that wouldn't necessarily work for their child while overlooking others that would.

For example, parents would buy a mattress cover for their child whose asthma is triggered by plant pollen, but wouldn't shut windows to keep pollen out of the house. Or adults who continued to smoke cigarettes regardless of their child's health.

One of the most effective ways I've found to succesffuly fight asthma is to optimize your child's diet by avoiding sugar, fruit juices, most grains and pasteurized dairy products. Also including long chain Omega-3 fats from fish oils is also helpful.

EurekAlert August 17, 2004

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