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Teens and Asthma

Challenge #2: He's waking up at night.

"Kids spend a third to half of their time in their bedrooms, which only increases as they get older," says Dr. Virant. "So it's the most important room in the house to asthma-proof." Soft furnishings are dust mite magnets, so trade out drapes and carpets for blinds and wood floors. Minimize piles of stuffed animals and pillows—and kill the dust mites that thrive on them by washing them in hot water or putting them in the freezer for a few hours each week. Bedding should be laundered in hot water weekly, and use pillow protectors and mattress covers to reduce dust mite exposure.

If your kid is also allergic to animal dander, make sure her room is a pet-free zone. Whenever her symptoms are severe, confine your pet to the kitchen, basement, and other easy-to-clean areas, so dander doesn't accumulate.