A variety of things in the environment can make asthma or allergy symptoms worse. These are called "triggers." Your doctor can help you figure out what your child's triggers are. Mold is a common trigger for many kids. What Is Mold? Mold is a microscopic plant-like organism. It can grow on many surfaces, and prefers damp places like bathrooms and basements. Mold reproduces by sending spores into the air. How Can I Help My Child Deal With It? 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 well 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. 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 1 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. When mold counts are high, kids should take their allergy medicine before going outdoors. After playing outdoors, they should bathe and change clothes. Drive with the car windows shut and air conditioning on during mold seasons. Back to Articles Related Articles Asthma Triggers Triggers — things in the air, weather conditions, or activities — can cause asthma flare-ups. By knowing and avoiding triggers, you'll help lessen your child's asthma symptoms. Read More Definition: Allergy-Triggered Asthma Allergy-triggered asthma is a type of asthma commonly seen in children. Read More Do Allergies Cause Asthma? Allergies don't cause asthma, but kids who have allergies are more likely to get asthma. Read More Dealing With Asthma Triggers Find out what can make your asthma worse, and what to do about it. Read More Word! Allergy-Triggered Asthma Most kids who have asthma also have some kind of allergy, too. Read More Word! Triggers With asthma, a trigger is anything that brings on asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing. Read More Definition: Allergy-Triggered Asthma Many people who have asthma have some kind of allergy, too. Read More Dealing With Asthma Triggers If you have asthma, certain things may cause you to cough and have trouble breathing. Find out more about asthma triggers in this article for kids. Read More Allergies Your eyes itch, your nose is running, you're sneezing, and you're covered in hives. The enemy known as allergies has struck again. Read More Dealing With Triggers: Pollen If pollen makes your child's asthma or allergies worse, learn how to limit exposure it. Read More Dealing With Triggers: Irritants If strong scents, smoke, and smog make your child's asthma or allergies worse, learn how to limit contact with these irritants. Read More Dealing With Triggers: Cockroaches Find out how to limit exposure to cockroaches if they make your child's asthma or allergies worse. Read More Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Asthma Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Learn all about asthma here. Read More Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. But with treatment, the condition can be managed so that kids can still do the things they love. Learn all about asthma. Read More All About Allergies Millions of Americans, including many kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.