How to Minimize Asthma Attacks on Kids

How to Minimize Asthma Attacks on Kids

About one in a dozen people or one in five children in the United States have asthma, with 10 people on average dying of asthma attacks each day in the country. Children are more likely to have asthma and asthma attacks than adults, especially if they are boys, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & immunology. While there is currently no care for asthma, there are many things you can do to improve the environment for kids with asthma. With the ability to breath being truly our most basic need, here are some tips for parents and teachers hoping to minimize asthma attacks and improve quality of life in our kids. Don’t forget using the right vacuum for suctioning off pet hair, dust, and dirt.

Clean Air

A hand crushing cigarettes

Most parents today know not to smoke cigarettes or cigars near their children, as secondhand smoke are a serious cause of increased risks of asthma, other respiratory diseases, and a host of health issues for kids. At the same time, much of the developed world is trying to improve outdoor air quality. What about keeping indoor air clean? Research published in the scientific journal. The Lancet suggests that rooms with wool carpets contain significantly higher levels of airborne dust mite antigens than areas with synthetic carpets or no carpets. Having either wool or synthetic carpets also results in higher levels of airborne dust than having bare floors. Unless parents are willing to vacuum at least once a day and use air filters in every room, it may be a good idea to go for hardwood or tiled flooring. Also, make sure you are not exposing your kids to mold, pollen, excessive humidity, perfumes, paint fumes, or cleaning product fumes. Larger patches of mold should be removed by experts immediately.


While clean air is beneficial to kids with asthma, clean environments are not. Some babies pick up four particular types of gut bacteria — Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia, together known as FLVR — from their environment, while others do not. The babies who have lower levels of these bacteria have higher risk for asthma, according to 2015 results from the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital. Currently, parents can only make sure not to keep their infants’ surrounding environment “too clean” in their first three months. In the near future, however, scientists may be able to develop inoculation or other treatments to help newborns acquire the essential FLVR gut bacteria.

Pets or Livestock

Following the same logic, children who grow up around household pets such as cats and dogs before they are one year old are 13 percent less likely to have asthma. As reported in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, being exposed to the dander of these animals help boost the immune system. Statistics show nearly half of all kids with asthma are allergic to cats and/or dogs. Couples who are planning to have children or who are pregnant or have very young children should not hesitate to consider getting a pet dog or cat. The New England Journal of Medicine also points out that exposure to animals commonly found on farms — horses, cows, cats, dogs, and even cockroaches — have resulted in Amish kids having more resistance to asthma. The percentage of children who suffer from asthma among the Amish and Hutterites is less than half of the national figure.

Vitamin Supplements

Besides helping kids fortify their bones with calcium, Vitamin D may reduce the risk of asthma attacks as well as developing asthma in the first place, according to a 2011 study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers believe Vitamin D supplements may improve lung function and bodily response to corticosteroids. In the study, kids who received placebos instead of Vitamin D supplements were eight times more likely to suffer asthma attacks than the kids who took supplements. The effectiveness of Vitamin D supplements taken by pregnant mothers are less conclusive. In either case, vitamin supplements still need to go hand-in-hand with a healthy diet — especially diets high in vegetables and fruits — and regular exercise, especially as childhood obesity is a major factor that exacerbates asthma and other health problems. Some studies suggest supplementing kids with choline (Vitamin B), magnesium, fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamin C may also help asthma, though benefits are less clear-cut than Vitamin D at this point.

Physical Exercise

As the University of Maryland Medical Center warns, exercising and treating obesity are important for asthma sufferers. Although exercise may temporarily trigger asthma attacks, because the lungs need to take in more air, it is crucial for reducing asthma risks over all. If your children are exercising outdoors, make sure they wear scarves around their faces, to keep the air entering their lungs warm. Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces pressure on the lungs.

Mental Exercise


One study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests keeping a journal daily helps people express their emotions and relieve stress, thus decreasing asthma attacks and pain symptoms. In the study, patients wrote in their journals about stressful things in their lives for 20 minutes a day, over three days. This is a fun and easy activity that parents and teachers can lead children in performing, with the only tools needed being a notebook and writing instruments.


Sometimes, children are unable to express they are experiencing early symptoms of an asthma attack that may have been prevented with early attention. In 2016, a neuro-radiology researcher developed a gadget to prevent this: Aeris. Aeris is a small, hospital-grade device that works with an iPhone app that monitors your child’s lung health. It makes a game out of asking the child to blow through the device, which notifies parents when it detects lung problems in the child. Researchers say the device picks up on issues “up to two weeks before usual symptoms appear,” which helps prevent serious asthma attacks. Aeris has already undergone a study with children at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. While further studies are still needed, parents may look forward to seeing this fun yet life-saving gizmo in the future.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, half of all asthma cases develop within children’s first decade of life. If you are currently anticipating a child or have very young kids, consider following the above tips to prevent or drastically reduce their asthma risks and attacks. With some extra effort and care, even children who have already been diagnosed with asthma can go on to lead happy, asthma-free lives if you as parents keep the home dust free. Check out this best bare floor vacuum on, as it can help with dust, dirt, and pet hair cleaning for asthma relief.