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. Cockroaches are a common trigger for many kids. How Do Cockroaches Trigger Symptoms? Cockroaches have a protein in their shed body parts, saliva (spit), and droppings (poop) that can set off a person's asthma or allergy symptoms. How Can I Help My Child Deal With Them? Have your home professionally exterminated every few months. Between these treatments, use bait traps to catch roaches (not aerosol sprays, which can make some kids' symptoms worse). Avoid saving boxes, paper bags, or newspapers in piles around your home. Don't leave open food containers or dirty dishes lying around your kitchen. Keep counters free of crumbs or spills. Keep garbage containers closed. Wash recyclables before putting them in the bin. Seal any cracks in walls and floors. Remove all food and water sources that can attract cockroaches. Frequent cleaning of floors (vacuum, mopping, etc.) and countertops will reduce allergen exposure. Back to Articles Related Articles Dealing With Triggers: Mold If mold makes your child's asthma or allergies worse, learn how to limit exposure to it. 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 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 Dealing With Triggers: Dust Mites If dust mites make your child's asthma or allergies worse, here's how to limit exposure to them. Read More Dealing With Triggers: Pets Do pets make your child's allergies or asthma worse? Here's how to handle it. Read More Definition: Allergy-Triggered Asthma Allergy-triggered asthma is a type of asthma commonly seen in children. Read More Definition: Triggers During normal breathing, the airways to the lungs are fully open, allowing air to easily move in and out. In a person with asthma, the airways are inflamed and overly sensitive to certain things that wouldn't usually bother others. These are called triggers. 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 Dealing With Asthma Triggers Find out what can make your asthma worse, and what to do about it. Read More Definition: Allergy-Triggered Asthma Many people who have asthma have some kind of allergy, too. Read More Definition: Triggers An asthma trigger is anything that brings on coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, and other symptoms in a person with asthma. 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 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.