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    Asthma Prevention When You Have Allergies

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    Mold and Mildew Prevention

    For asthma prevention when you have mold and mildew allergies, try the following suggestions:

    • Air out damp, humid areas frequently. Run a dehumidifier to keep humidity between 25% and 50%.
    • Use air conditioners when possible.
    • Clean bathrooms regularly using products that kill and prevent mold. Use exhaust fans to vent steam. Do not carpet the bathroom.
    • Keep indoor plants out of bedrooms.
    • When painting, add mold inhibitor to paint to prevent mold from growing.
    • Avoid sources of outdoor molds, such as wet leaves or garden debris.
    • To clean visible mold, use a cleaning solution containing 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent.
    • Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles with mold-killing solutions.
    • Avoid areas where molds may collect, including basements, garages, crawl spaces, barns, and compost heaps. Have someone else clean these areas often.
    • Air out damp clothes and shoes (in the house) before storing.
    • Remove laundry from the washing machine promptly. Don't leave wet clothes in the washer where mold can quickly grow.
    • Don't collect too many indoor plants, as soil encourages mold growth.
    • Store firewood outside.
    • Avoid raking leaves or working with hay or mulch if you are allergic to mold.

    Preventing Insects

    Many homes and apartments have cockroaches and other insects. Some people with asthma are allergic to a protein in their droppings. To prevent an allergic asthma reaction, try the following steps to control insects in your home:

    • Use roach baits or traps.
    • Insect sprays can be used but should only be sprayed when no one is at home. Before you or your child returns home after spraying, make sure that your home has been aired out for a couple of hours.
    • Because cockroaches survive in high-humid environments, fix water leaks in and around your home.
    • Cover food in lid containers and clean dishes after eating and sweep floors after you have eaten.

    Pollen Prevention

    Pollen is a tiny egg-shaped cell from flowering plants. Pollen is difficult to avoid because they cannot be eliminated from the atmosphere. Plants have different periods of pollination, which varies little from year to year. Yet, the type of weather affects the amount of pollen in the air, with hot, dry, and windy weather causing more pollen in the air. In general, pollen season lasts from February to October.

    For asthma prevention with allergies, try to reduce your or your child's exposure to pollen:

    • Limit outdoor activities during times of high pollen, such as early morning.
    • Stay indoors during humid or windy days when pollen counts are high.
    • Keep windows closed during pollen seasons.
    • Use air conditioning if possible.
    • Minimize walks in wooded areas or gardens.
    • Check the forecast. Stay indoors as much as possible on hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are generally the highest.
    • If possible, stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when outdoor pollen counts are usually highest.
    • Wear a mask (such as an inexpensive painter's mask) when mowing the lawn if you are allergic to grass pollen or mold. Avoid mowing and being around freshly cut grass if possible.
    • Wear a mask when gardening, as flowers and some weeds release pollen and can cause allergy symptoms.
    • Take a shower after being outdoors. Also, wash your hair, and change your clothes to remove pollen that may have collected in your clothes and hair.
    • Avoid hanging clothes or linens out to dry, as pollen and molds may collect in them and can make your allergies worse.
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