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Managing Asthma In the Home

by Samia S. Morgan
Many of us have allergies, and children with asthma, and we want to ensure family members live and play in surroundings that won’t aggravate this chronic disease, and this starts at home. When it comes to children, we want to keep them as safe as possible; however the reality is we have little control over conditions outside of our own homes. By beginning with your own home you can implement a few no-cost or low-cost lifestyle changes that will help turn your house into an asthma safe home, for family members suffering from this condition.

Identifying the Triggers Allergens
If you are unsure what triggers are specific to your child, or children, with asthma, please consult your physician, as they will be able to help identify these triggers and advise you in this regard. Some of the more common triggers, allergens, found in our homes include:

  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pollens
  • Pets

Improving and maintaining good indoor air quality is key in asthma management and limiting the presence of irritants in the air in your home. Below are a few steps you can take to improve air quality in your home as found in the article Creating an Asthma-Safe Home by KidsHealth.

Improving Air Quality
  • Don’t allow smoking in your home. Quit or smoke outside.
  • Use unscented or non-aerosol varieties of household cleaning products.
  • Verify that all your gas appliances are properly vented outside.
  • Run air conditioning when pollen or mold counts are high or when there are ozone or pollution warnings.
  • Change air conditioning filter regularly.
  • Reducing the Presence of Dust Mites
  • Vacuum and dust regularly.
  • Avoid the use of feather or down pillows or comforters.
  • Wash your children’s bedding in hot water and also dry it on a high setting.
  • Cover mattresses, pillows and box springs with mite-proof covers. Regularly wipe down covers.
  • Remove carpeting in your child’s room.
  • Window coverings in your child’s room should be easily washed or cleaned. Horizontal blinds are not recommended as they accumulate dust on their multiple surfaces.
  • Store children’s books in a room other than his or her bedroom
  • Keep stuffed animals to a minimum. Favorite plush toys should be washed and dried regularly on the hot settings. Placing plush toys in a plastic bag in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours will also kill any dust mites present.
  • Avoid using a humidifier particularly in your child’s room.

Reducing Moisture and Mold
  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or roofs. Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure your bathrooms and basement are well ventilated. Install and use exhaust fans to help lower moisture in these areas.
  • If you have any damp closets, clean them thoroughly and leave a 100-watt bulb on all the time to increase the temperature and dry out the air.
  • Run a dehumidifier in the basement or other damp areas. It's important to empty and clean the water pan often.
  • Remove wallpaper and wall-to-wall carpeting from bathrooms and basement rooms.
  • Run the air conditioning (this is especially helpful if you have central air), making sure to change the filter monthly.
  • Avoid houseplants, which may harbor mold in their soil.
  • Clean any visible mold or mildew with a solution that's one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Don't paint or caulk over moldy surfaces without cleaning them first.
  • When painting bathrooms or other damp areas of your house, use anti-mildew paint.
  • If there's visible mold on ceiling tiles, remove and replace them. Also check to see if there's a leaky pipe that may be causing the problem.
  • Replace or wash moldy shower curtains.

Pets in the Home
  • Keep pets outside. If you can't, at least keep them out of your child's bedroom and playroom.
  • Wash and brush your pet every week.
  • Make sure your child doesn't play with or touch your pet and keep him or her away from the litter box if you have a cat.
  • Wash your hands every time you touch your pet.
  • If you have a pet that lives in a cage, keep it in a room that your child doesn't spend time in regularly. Also, have someone other than your child clean the cage daily.

For more detail information and tips how to create an asthma-safe home visit the KidsHealth website and talk with your child’s doctor about their specific triggers.

San Mateo Gas Prices

by Samia S. Morgan
If you're trying to cut your gas expense, this site might help.

Just enter your zip code in the site below and it tells you which gas stations have the lowest and the highest gas prices in your zip code.  It will even give you a map to show where they are.
 
http://autos.msn.com/everyday/gasstations.aspx

Happy Mother's Day

by Samia S. Morgan
Growing up we have all had our mother's scold us or give us advice, that at the time may have not meant too much to us. Whether we like to admit it or not, those little pieces of advice and information have stuck with us and without a doubt had an impact on us as we grew up.

Below are a few phrases I am sure you heard as a kid, and may even have used them on your own children. It isn't until we are grown adults, that we realize that Mom was only saying these things out of love and concern for us.

  • Money does not grow on trees.
  • Always change your underwear; you never know when you'll have an accident.
  • What if everyone jumped off a bridge? Would you do it, too?
  • Don't make that face or it'll freeze in that position.
  • If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
  • Don't put that in your mouth; you don't know where it's been!
  • Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.
  • Close that door! Were you born in a barn?
  • Because I'm your mother that's why.
  • If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.
  • Because I said so.

Wishing all you mother's a Happy Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day!

San Mateo Housing - Know Your Options and Have a Voice

by Samia S. Morgan
Threshold 2008 is a unique forum of discussion about housing issues in San Mateo County and this is your chance to take part and have your voice heard.

During the first couple of weeks of May the Examiner will be sponsoring an online dialogue to help educate San Mateo County residents (and commuters) about local housing issues and encourage you to participate with your own thoughts, concerns and possible solutions.

Through Online Dialogues and Community Conversations, Threshold 2008 hopes to engage your participation so that as informed residents and commuters of San Mateo can help with coming up "sound direction on housing solutions."

Week One - Online Dialogue

Mon/Tues (5/5 - 6) - Introductions/ Top concerns

Wed/Thurs (5/7 - 8) - What does an ideal housing solution look like?

Fri - Sun (5/9 - 11) - Who should make decisions about housing policy?

Week Two - Online Dialogue

Mon/Tues (5/12 - 13) - How should we pay for additional housing?

Wed (5/14) - What role should the public play?

Thur/Fri (5/15 - 16) - Your final messages for decision-makers

To register for this unique online dialogue on San Mateo County housing issues visit Public Voices for Housing Choices in San Mateo County. If you would like to read more about Threshold 2008 visit their website here.

Join Threshold 2008 and have your housing issues and ideas heard.


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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