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Common Allergy Triggers for Asthma and How to Avoid Them

By Dr. Christopher Meeks, Pediatric Associates

Determining whether or not a child has asthma can be difficult. However, most children with asthma show signs before age 5.

Common symptoms of pediatric asthma include:

  • Coughing, especially at night or in the early morning
  • A wheezing or high-pitched whistling sound when breathing
  • Difficulty breathing or fast breathing that causes the skin around the ribs or neck to tighten
  • Frequent chest colds
  • Chest tightness

If your child has one or more of these symptoms and the symptoms recur, see your CHKD pediatrician to determine if your child has asthma.

In addition to visiting your pediatrician, help your child avoid these common triggers of allergic asthma:


Put all food away and keep the kitchen clean. If you see roaches, use traps or call an exterminator. Cockroaches can trigger allergic asthma with their saliva, body parts, and feces. Be sure to keep your child away from any fumes from insecticide spray or extermination.

Dust mites

Dust mites can be found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys, etc. Dust weekly and cover mattresses and pillows in allergen-proof covers to keep dust mites at bay. Also, try to keep stuffed animals out of your child’s bed, and use a quality vacuum cleaner or mop to clean the floors twice a week.


Mold can grow anywhere moisture is present – in the bathroom, a damp basement, etc. Mold produces tiny spores that become airborne easily. Be sure to clean shower stalls and other places where mold is frequently found with bleach, but not while your child is at home. Some bleach odors can also be a trigger.


Pet urine, feces, saliva, hair, and dander are all allergens. If you have cats, clean the litter box every day. Use a quality vacuum cleaner to remove pet hair and dander from carpets.


Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds are not only outdoors. These airborne particles can get inside your home and car all year long. Be sure to keep windows closed during high pollen seasons and use the air conditioning whenever possible. Change air conditioning and heat vent filters regularly.


Smoke travels throughout heating and air conditioning systems and can be found on the clothing and hair of people who smoke. Do not smoke in your home or car, or allow anyone else to. If you smoke, change your clothes and wash your hands before being around your child. Also, have your child avoid smoke from barbecue grills and outdoor fire pits.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.