•                        Bear and Cross
    Creating a Healthier Environment for Your Child
    *Do NOT allow smoking in the home.  Smoke, including secondhand smoke, is a severe irritant, especially for children.
    *If you have pets, restrict them to certain rooms, or to the outdoors; the child's room should be a "pet-free zone"
    *Use a damp cloth for household dusting so irritants do not become airborne.
    *Air conditioning can help remove airborne irritants, especially pollen.  Be sure filters are changed regularly.
    *Try to make your home as stress-free as possible.  Excitement or anxiety can trigger asthma episodes.
    *Make sure that the child knows where his or her medications are kept, and how to take them.  If the dosing schedule seems confusing, create a color-coded chart to make it easier to understand.
    *Be aware of the child's food allergies and avoid having such foods in your house.
    *In the bedroom use pillows with synthetic fillings, washable cotton or synthetic blankets, and allergen-proof covers for the mattress and box spring.
    *Prevent dust from collecting in the child's room by removing upholstered furniture, heavy draperies, and thick rugs.
    *Encourage frequent handwashing.
    Managing an Asthma Episode at Home.
    Inspite of your efforts it is still likely that a child will have an asthma episode at home. If so:
    *Be aware of warning signs, so you can take action early.
    *If possible, remove or reduce the irritant that caused the episode.
    *Follow the doctor's orders regarding the proper dose and timing of the child's medications.
    *STAY CALM; if you seem nervous or frightened, the child may become frightened too-making the episode worse.
    *Encourage the child to remain calm so you can see if the action you've taken is working.
    *If you have a peak flow meter, check the child's peak flow rate 5 or 10 minutes after treatment to see if air flow is is improving.
    *Contact the doctor if necessary.
    * Keep a copy of your asthma action plan posted in a central location where all family members know where it is.
    When To Seek Medical Care
    Here are some ways to tell whether emergency treatment is needed:
    *Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath get worse, even after medication has had time to work.
    *The child may seem to struggle for breath, hunch over, or suck in chest or neck muscles with each attempt to breathe.
    *The child has trouble walking or talking.
    *The child's lips or fingernails turn gray or blue.  
    **Call 911 or Go to the nearest ER