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Asthma Education for Missouri
Reducing Exposure to Asthma Triggers

Ben Francisco, PhD, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children's Hospital and assistant research professor at MU's School of Medicine, offers these pointers for reducing your child's exposure to some common asthma triggers.

Second-Hand Smoke

  • Do not smoke in your home or car or allow others to do so.

Dust Mites

  • Wash stuffed toys and dry them completely to help control dust mites.
  • Wash your child's bedding in hot water and dry completely once a week.
  • Use dustproof covers on pillows and mattresses.
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture every week.


  • If possible, keep pets outside. If you have indoor pets, do not allow them in your child's bedroom.
  • Keep pets off your furniture.
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture when your child is not around.

 Pests (Such as Cockroaches)

  • Cover the trash to keep pests away.
  • Clean dishes, crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Store all of your food in airtight containers.
  • Seal cracks or openings around or inside cabinets.
  • Use roach baits or traps instead of sprays.


  • Fix leaks as soon as possible to keep mold from growing.
  • If you see mold on hard surfaces, remove it with soap and water and then let the area dry completely.
  • Use exhaust fans or open a window in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking or washing dishes.

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