Respiratory problems for kids and adults have increased over the years, especially for people living in highly urbanized areas. Their exposure to environmental factors, including pollution, allergens, and the like have increased the likelihood for many kids to develop allergies and asthma. With as much as 4% of the US population suffering from asthma, it’s relevant to recognize the main underlying causes lurking in our environment.
The functional medicine approach insists on discovering the key culprits so that you can help your kids reduce the severity of the symptoms, the frequency of asthma attacks, and the overall respiratory issues they might experience. Let’s see what the most common triggers are, so that you can keep them under control in your own environment!
Common household allergens
No matter how tidy and well-kept your house is, every indoor space is brimming with all kinds of allergens. From ordinary dust mites, pollen during the warmer months, even sneaky mold, these are all silent causes for severe asthma attacks.
A good way to keep your indoor environment in check is to use quality HEPA filters to cleanse the air, find non-toxic plants, and choose your cleaning products wisely.
Pet dander and insects
As wonderful as it is for kids to grow up with pets, and having a pet has been shown to help many kids prevent respiratory troubles – those little ones that already have asthma might not adapt so well. Cockroaches are also common asthma triggers, so pet dander in combination with insects can wreak havoc on your kid’s immune response.
Tobacco smoke and pollution
Inhaling any kind of smoke, and that includes cigarette smoke and car fumes can be extremely irritating for a child with asthma. Polluted air often has high levels of dust, soot, factory chemicals, particles of various kinds, and car emissions. Studies have shown that kids growing up in less urbanized areas that have farm-like microbiotas have a much lower likelihood of developing asthma, showing that the environment plays a vital role in our respiratory health.
Stress and other emotions
It’s not uncommon for kids to experience difficulty breathing, chest pains, and wheezing when they are under too much stress or they are going through a difficult time. During a crisis, such as the pandemic, when their routines are disrupted, kids feel more anxious, scared, frustrated, and their asthma might act up, as well.
Help your kids find healthy ways to de-stress, through play, meditation, exercise, and regular talks, and you’ll help them process their emotions properly.
Vapors from cleaning products
We’ve already mentioned that a dusty, moldy home isn’t the best environment for an asthmatic child. However, the products you choose to keep your house clean can also pose a risk, especially if they are overloaded with chemicals that can cause respiratory irritation.
Find products that are not heavy on artificial fragrances, bleach, formaldehyde, ammonium hydroxide, and the like. Look for natural, but equally effective alternatives based on asthma-friendly ingredients like baking soda, unscented detergents, and products that are labeled as safe for those with respiratory issues.
Viral infections and weather changes
As a parent, you’re doing your best to provide the right vitamin and mineral intake for your kids, especially during the cold season. However, we’re surrounded by viruses and bacteria, meaning that exposure to these microorganisms can affect your child’s asthma. Not to mention that weather changes such as high humidity levels or sudden cold and heat waves can also trigger an asthma attack.
To keep your child’s immune system up to par, you can use nutrition reinforcements like the Kids Fab 4 Bundle with ample vitamin D, chewy multivitamins, and gut-friendly probiotics. Optimizing your child’s nutrition will prevent and help reduce the risk of respiratory infections (viral and bacterial), which also means less worrying about asthma.
Certain food groups and preservatives
Some foods are more likely to cause allergic reactions, which can end up triggering your child’s asthma, as well. These foods include nuts and legumes, milk, eggs, fish, and even chocolate. The preservatives and chemicals found in processed foods you purchase in the store can also cause an allergic reaction that can worsen your child’s asthma.
Be mindful of what your kids eat. It’s understandable that you want to prevent deficiencies through food diversification, but you should also check for allergies just to make sure you’re on the right track.
What’s essential for your little ones is to keep their condition in check and to make sure you are boosting their immune resilience. Through symptom management and by reducing exposure to these triggers, you’re helping your kids live a healthy life and you’re reducing their risk of severe reactions. Book a consultation with us today, and we will work together with you to structure the most effective approach for your child’s healthy lifestyle!