About 1 in 5 children in Springfield has asthma, according to the Springfield School Nursing Department. The rate of asthma in Springfield adults is high too, nearly 18% compared to 11% statewide.
Asthma episodes are often triggered by hazards in the home, including mold, pests, dust mites, tobacco smoke, and chemicals in the air. The good news is you can control many of these factors. By making your home healthier, you can prevent asthma triggers and keep your family healthy.
To make your home healthy, keep it:
To reduce pests and asthma triggers:
- Clean up clutter where pests and mold can live
- Use a damp mop and dust cloth to clean, and vacuum carefully
- Wash bedding once a week, using hot water to kill dust mites
- Leave your shoes at the door to keep dirt out of your home
- Clean and vacuum after pets and keep them out of the bedroom
To reduce pests and mold:
- Regularly check for leaks, inside and outside, and repair them right away
- Clean up water spills right away
To reduce accidents and injuries:
- Clear away things that might make you slip, trip, or fall
- Use the safest possible household products
- Store household products and medicines where children cannot reach them
- Make sure that you have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm
To provide fresh air:
- Open windows whenever possible
- Use fans in bathrooms and kitchens
Free of pests
To prevent diseases and reduce asthma triggers:
- Remove food, water, and places where pests can live
- Store food in strong, covered containers
- Take out trash every day
Free of dangerous chemicals
To reduce poisonings, injuries, and other harmful effects:
- Do not allow smoking in your home
- Avoid using products with strong odors (like bleach, ammonia and air fresheners) around family members with asthma
- If your home was built before 1978, learn about lead paint dangers
- Test for radon, a gas that causes cancer
To learn more about non-toxic house cleaning, download these tips and recipes from the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition.
In good repair
To keep small problems from becoming big problems:
- Inspect your home regularly
- Replace furnace filters and have heating system inspected every year
- Seal cracks, holes, and other openings in your home
- Maintain clean gutters and proper drainage
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have concerns about asthma or chronic symptoms that might be asthma, be sure to talk to your primary care provider. If you don't have one, now is the time to find one. We can help.
For more information or to find services to help make your home healthier, visit Springfield Healthy Homes.