Lower Your Child’s Risk of Childhood Asthma
More than 17 million Americans have already been diagnosed with asthma (pronounced asma). Most of them—3 out of every 4—developed the disorder during childhood.
What's more, the incidence of childhood asthma has jumped a staggering 75% over the past 20 years!
What causes childhood asthma?
The causes of asthma, like the causes of indoor allergies, are rooted in a combination of genetic tendency and environmental triggers.
- Doctors have known for years that prolonged exposure to “indoor allergens” will worsen symptoms in children already diagnosed with asthma, a chronic and serious medical condition.
- More recently scientists have learned that the risk of developing asthma soars if a youngster lives around high levels of indoor allergens produced mostly by dust mites and family pets.
- In fact, a child's risk for developing asthma jumps 500% when they live in homes with dense concentrations of mite and/or household animals.
Bottom line: a child's home is the place most likely to cause asthma and trigger asthma symptoms. No wonder, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warnings, American homes are “the most allergic” environments in the nation.
What exactly are “indoor allergens”?
They’re microscopic protein particles continuously shed by insects, animals and rodents. The most common of them are:
- Der p1, which is found in dust mite droppings and impacts kids and adults with a dust mite allergy or asthma
- Fel-d1, which is found in cat saliva, urine, fur, feces and dander, impacting adults and children who suffer cat allergies; and
- Can-f1, which is found primarily in dog saliva but also in canine urine, fur and dander, impacting those with dog allergies.
So small they can be seen only with use of a microscope, these “protein allergens” instantly become airborne after leaving the animal’s body. Within minutes they can travel many yards away. And because they’re sticky, they cling to clothing, furniture upholstery, bed linen, towels, rugs, drapes and other fabric surfaces. From there, they are easy picked up and absorbed into human skin—especially by young children.
How do the allergens provoke asthma symptoms?
In most youngsters, these protein bits are unable to do damage because the body identifies them as harmless.
In children with asthma, or in those susceptible to asthma, the allergens are mistaken for contaminants. Instantly, the child’s immune system hits overdrive and in an effort to eliminate the intruder it rushes antibodies to the nose, eyes, lungs and surface skin.
These antibodies bind to the protein particles, trying to destroy them. It’s the binding process that actually causes the wide array of asthma symptoms—from puffy-red eyes that tear and burn to wheezing, upper respiratory congestion and sometimes even dangerous shortness of breath.
What can parents do?
First and foremost, become aware! Although the complex causes of asthma—genetic and environmental—remain somewhat mysterious, experts do know that the disease can be cumulative.
In other words, years of exposure to high concentrations of protein allergens can eventually lead to asthma in even mildly susceptible people.
When will that happen? It’s different for every person. But we all have a threshold for handling allergens and when the level of contaminants around us exceeds that level, we start to experience symptoms.
At the most practical level, parents can take steps to protect their children:
- Many doctors urge regular use of an allergy relief product. There are many products available today that will destroy Der-p1, Fel-d1 and Can-f1. It’s wise, however, to avoid those made with harsh chemicals. Why? Because children with asthma and allergies have an overly sensitive immune system, inclined to react badly to environmental contaminants. Exposure to any toxic agent is likely to trigger symptoms, not eliminate them.
- Use the Easy Air Anti-Allergy System. This is a powerful but all-natural alternative to harsh chemicals and pesticides. Together its Anti-Allergy Relief Spray and Anti-Allergy Laundry Rinse make your home an “Allergy Free Zone” by deconstructing all protein allergens at the molecular level. It’s like taking deadly boulders and crumbling them into harmless rubble. These all-organic liquid formulas are safe to use around even newborns and the smallest family pets. They cannot cure asthma or indoor allergies, but they will make life more comfortable for children already living with asthma; and reduce the risk of healthy kids developing asthma down the line.
- Pediatricians also recommend mite-proof mattress covers. If your child already has asthma, this will help ease symptoms. It is also a way to help prevent asthma in children who have not developed the disorder.