Parents of asthmatic children often overlook important measures, including banning smoking in the house and shutting windows to keep pollen out. About 25% of   parents surveyed said that a smoker lived in the same house as the child with asthma but they had not done anything about it.

“80% of parents in this study knew at least one specific factor that triggered their child’s asthma symptoms, and 82% of those had devoted some effort to help their children avoid these triggers,” according to Dr. Michael Cabana, the University of Michigan pediatrician who led the study.

Only half of the 1,788 asthma-proofing steps taken by parents of 896 asthmatic children in the study were likely to work, the researchers reported in the August, 2004 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

One of the potentially harmful things parents did included using a humidifier in child’s room when the child had an allergy to dust mites. House dust mites do well in humid environments. Many parents reported they had bought a mattress cover to protect their child from dust mite allergens, but did not shut windows to keep pollen out of the house – even when they knew their child’s asthma was triggered by pollen.

It is best to know your child’s allergic triggers and to take appropriate steps to protect him or her from those triggers. Many things that will help your child are cheap and easy to do.