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. Irritants (also called pollutants) are a common trigger for many kids. What Are Irritants? Irritants are things that pollute the air. If they get inside your nose, they can cause irritation of the nose and lungs. Common irritants include: perfumes aerosol sprays cleaning products wood and tobacco smoke paint or gas fumes smog How Can I Help My Child Deal With Them? If household products (air fresheners, candles/incense, plug-in air fresheners, etc.) trigger your child's asthma/nose trouble, switch to unscented or non-aerosol versions. Avoid strong odors from paint, perfume, hair spray, disinfectants, chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and glues. Do not burn wood fires in fireplaces or wood stoves. Keep your child away from areas where painting or carpentry work is being done. If you cook on a gas stove, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated — to the outside, if possible. Do not smoke (or allow others to smoke) in the house — even if your child isn't there, the smoke gets trapped in the upholstery and carpets. Avoid smoky places (like restaurants or parties). Live Christmas trees can cause symptoms or make them worse in some kids. Get an artificial tree if they bother your child. Back to Articles Related Articles Asthma Center Asthma keeps more kids home from school than any other chronic illness. Learn how to help your child manage the condition, stay healthy, and stay in school. Read More Allergies Explore more than 20 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of allergies in children. Read More 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: 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 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: Cockroaches Find out how to limit exposure to cockroaches if they make your child's asthma or allergies worse. 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 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 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 Asthma-Safe Homes Here's steps to remove or minimize triggers at home that cause asthma flare-ups. Read More Asthma Center Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma. Read More Asthma Center Asthma means breathing problems. Find out what's going on in the lungs and how to stay healthy, if you have it. Read More Allergy Shots Many kids battle allergies year-round, and some can't control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can help. 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 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.