Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why Kids Get Asthma

Yesterday I did a really stupid thing. I decided that my regular "natural" bathroom cleaner wasn't enough and decided to clean the tub with Tilex. This was stupid because the last time I used it, I ended up losing my voice for a week. I decided this time that I would hold my breath while I scrubbed the tub, until I felt like I was going to pass out and just told myself I would be okay. I noticed last night that my throat was hurting and thought, "oh we go again..."
So it's 3:48 am and I'm awake right now because around 2:45 am I had an asthma attack. I don't have asthma. I have Tilex in my bathroom and I was stupid enough to use it...again!
I decided that it is time (since I can't sleep and all) to write my annual "why your child has asthma" article so that parents can get some insight into what's going on with their kids. Many people believe that smog has led to the increase in asthma rates. Others believe that vaccines have led to the increase in asthma rates. And while both of these may be true, many parents have no idea that they are increasing the chances that their kids get asthma by what goes on in their very own home.
The first danger comes from the home itself. Paints, carpets, cabinets, and furniture off-gas enough chemicals to cause asthma in grown adults. The second danger comes from how we live in the home- the water we shower in, the cleaning products we use, and what we eat. Many people don't realize that showering for 10 minutes in unfiltered municipal water (which has been chlorinated) is worse than drinking the same water all day. We must provide filtered water for children to shower! We also use cleaning products that are searing their little lungs. I hate the fact that I even have Tilex in my house, and never use it around my children. (After today, it's probably going bye-bye). Bleach is toxic; anything containing bleach or chlorine should be considered toxic and never used around children. Chlorox has come out with those nifty wipes that seem really convenient, but leave a residue on surfaces that children touch. There was a study done on those and children's ability to function was altered after the table they were sitting at was wiped with chlorox wipes. While those things seem obvious, what children eat may be the hidden cause of why all the little things add up and finally cause breathing problems in children.
Here's the deal. Children need fruits and veggies. They just do. And if they are eating like you...they probably aren't getting them. They are likely getting processed meats, lots of breads, partially hydrogenated oils, plenty of sugar, and nifty preservatives in almost everything they eat. All of these foods cause inflammation in the body. Changing a child's diet to fruits, veggies, grass fed and natural meats, olive oils, and raw dairy (yes, you read that right- unpasteurized dairy) will greatly reduce the chances that he or she will ever have asthma, as well as decrease the incidences of asthma attacks in "asthmatic" children.
Another way to decrease asthma incidences is to use an air purifier to help reduce the amount of chemicals they are breathing in. While I would definitely shop for safer cleaning products, as well as look for earth-friendly furniture and house components, it is cheaper to start off with an air purifer like the Airwise. This product should be in every asthmatic child's bedroom and classroom. They are amazing, and I have 4 in my home right now. They work great for any kind of allergy such as cats, dogs, pollen, etc. and they reduce formaldehyde in the home.
I think parents today have grown too accepting of asthma, as it seems to be the "in" disease and everyone seems to have it. I always wonder why parents don't stop to think if there is something that is causing it that they might be able to change. I was fortunate enough when my son was three and developing asthma and allergies to come across information about nutrition and vitamins that turned his health around. We started him on REAL children's vitamins (NOT Flintstone!) and his health was restored almost immediately. So focus on nutrition on the inside, and changeable factors on the outside, and you will be WAY ahead of most parents who load up on inhalers and steroids and visit the doctor every month!

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