If you’re a new parent, you worry that your kids might get asthma. In the U.S. alone, 6.8 million kids have asthma and is one of the most frequent causes of hospital visits. While genetics play a role in the likelihood of getting asthma, numerous factors can trigger asthma attacks in children. However, knowing how to dodge these triggers may help prevent your kids from getting asthma.

Maintain a clean home

The most important thing when it comes to air quality is keeping a clean home. Mold grows on damp things, mostly in the bathroom area. Dust mites live in your carpet, bed sheets, blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys. All these things contribute to more particles in the air of your home, which can trigger asthma attacks. Try to limit dust exposure for your kids, especially babies, by washing stuffed toys and beddings frequently and drying them completely. Regularly vacuum carpets and rugs and use allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers.

Improve air quality at home

As much as you don’t want your children to be exposed to secondhand smoke, they can sniff it unknowingly through your hair and clothes. Aside from that, dust particulates and harmful gases can pollute and degrade indoor air quality. Of course, if you’re a smoker, the best way is to quit (if you haven’t yet)! If it isn’t possible at the moment, or if you’ve been exposed to outside smoke from vehicles or cigarette, change your clothes and wash your hands and face before you pick up and cuddle with your kids. Whenever possible, use appliances that vent air out when cooking. There are a lot of sources for poor air quality in our homes, and they aren’t always as obvious as second hand smoke.

Limit your kids’ exposure to pets, especially cats and dogs

Research is a bit inconclusive when it comes to the role pets play in the likelihood that children will develop asthma. Some say that early exposure to cats and dogs, let’s them develop an immune response to asthma. Others say that pets trigger asthma attacks. Use your best judgment when dealing with pets. However, the fact of the matter is that pet dander is a common allergen, and it can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in children. If you notice the effect on your kids, keep your pets away from them as much as possible, or don’t get any. If you decide to keep your pets, vacuum the furniture and carpets as often as possible. You can also designate specific areas for your pets to stay. As tempting as it is to sleep with our pets, letting them into your children’s bedroom can expose them to allergens at the the time when their bodies are supposed to be recuperating. While doing these steps do not completely shield your kids from getting asthma, you can take comfort in the fact that you did everything you can to stop it from happening. Plus, it ensures that your home is always clean and healthy.