Asthma Triggers

Triggers can be different for every child. Some common triggers are:


Asthma can also be triggered by viruses like the common cold or by the weather. Exercise or emotions may also affect your child’s asthma symptoms.

There are many things that you can do for some of these triggers to try and reduce asthma symptoms.

  • It is a common myth that children are allergic to a pet’s fur. They are in fact allergic to the animal protein in saliva (spit) and wee, and their dander (dandruff)
  • If your child's symptoms improve when they are not around pets you may decide to rehome your pets
  • Do not allow pets in the area where your child sleeps
  • If you think animals are triggering your child's asthma speak to your GP or asthma nurse
House dust mites
  • Declutter your home as much as possible so there are less areas for dust to gather
  • Dust with a damp cloth regularly
  • Vacuum all soft furnishings
  • Avoid the use of fans
  • Open the windows daily
  • Wash your child’s bedding at least once a week at 60 degrees
  • Avoid bunk beds if possible. If this is unavoidable and your child has asthma they should sleep on the top bunk (they need to be over 6 to sleep on the top bunk)
  • Get allergy covers for bedding if possible
  • Reduce the number of soft toys
  • Put soft toys in the freezer once a month for 6 hours to kill dust mites
  • If you are planning to redecorate hard floors are better than carpets

For more information on house dust mites visit Allergy UK.

Exercise and weather
  • Regular exercise improves asthma
  • Make sure they drink enough during exercise and have regular breaks
  • If cold weather is a trigger ensure they wrap up warm. Cover their mouth and nose with a scarf
  • Most importantly make sure they have their yearly flu vaccine
  • If warm weather is a trigger it may be due to the pollen or pollution level. Make sure you check the weather forecast and take precautions such as closing your windows
  • Avoid hanging your washing out when the pollen count is high
  • Avoid letting your child play out in the midday sun

See the indoor air triggers page for more tips to reduce triggers in the home. There are many things in your home that may trigger your child's asthma symptoms.

Below are three videos from a new website called Moving On Asthma. These videos explain triggers and how best to manage them.

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