Neither Noah Hanni or his parents are getting much sleep.
“He does have a lot of difficulty sleeping. I’m up about three or four times with him a night,” says Holly Hanni, whose child has asthma.
Born premature, Noah always had trouble breathing. Now he’s been diagnosed with asthma.
“It was really hard at first because he doesn’t like the mask or any of the restrictions,” says Hanni.
The key is to spot triggers with enough time to react before an attack. Teresa Summe works with children as young as one.
“We work with them to identify triggers. A lot of patients don't even realize that something is the trigger, they are used to coughing. And one of the things you measure is their symptoms during the day and at night,” says Teresa Summe, asthma educator with Lee Memorial Health System.
Turns out, one of your child’s biggest asthma enemies may be right under their nose.
“What will bother them are things you don't see. Like dust mites,” says Summe.
Dust mites can be found almost everywhere. In bed sheets, pillow, curtains and carpets. But one of the biggest culprits may be wrapped up in their arms at night: Those lovable, cuddly stuffed animals.
“They lay in their bed and then it's on their bed. They're constantly breathing that in,” says Summe.
The safest bet is to get rid of stuffed animals altogether. If not, wash them weekly in hot water. Or put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer overnight and repeat monthly. These will kill the mites. Finally, look for asthma and allergy-friendly stuffed toys.
“The younger children tend to be more susceptible because their airways are smaller, their immune systems are not as developed, so they tend to catch more that can trigger asthma,” says Summe.
House cleaning for the Hanni’s may be just the thing to help the entire family get some much needed rest.
“It’s trying on the family because we have to call out of work, we also have another son to take care of,” says Hanni.