Planning An Interior Painting Project When Your Child Has Asthma

At some point every home interior needs a fresh coat of paint. This is usually an exciting experience because rooms become instantly modernized and revitalized in only a few hours and without a huge investment. The excitement is dampened in homes where children have asthma because of the fear of the paint fumes triggering attacks. There is reason to be concerned, but there are ways to lessen the risk and make the project problem free. 

Know Common Triggers

It is not just the paint fumes that trigger asthma attacks during a painting project. The cleaners and solvents used to prepare the surfaces can also lead to breathing problems and irritation. Sanding releases a lot of particulates into the air, and moving furniture, carpeting, and draperies stirs up dust, dander, and pollen from areas that are often missed during basic cleaning. Paint is often the biggest concern because of the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the paint. 

Understand Paint Fumes

VOCs are the gasses released from certain products. They are found in carpeting, paint, and many other materials. Research has shown that certain VOCs can lead to immediate concerns like headaches and respiratory problems as well as potential long-term health risks like cancer. VOCs are used to describe the fumes given off by organic products, so technically this includes food odors too. The concern is not with these odors, but the ones that are known carcinogens. In paint this includes products like formaldehyde and benzene.  

Take Preventative Steps

Parents can avoid exposing their children to the majority of VOCs during and after their home is painted. Begin by removing the child from the home during the project. Have them stay with friends or family while the work is completed and for a few days after. Schedule the work to occur during warm weather so the windows can be open. Good ventilation with open windows and fans will help dissipate the fumes faster. Hire only painters that are willing to use low-VOC paints. Know what brands the painters, such as those from Kucker Haney Paint Co, plan to use, and research these brands to make certain they are compliant with the Indoor airPlus standards set by the EPA. 

Parents should make certain that any children currently prescribed an asthma-maintenance medication are taking that prescription as directed. When the child returns home, have an up-to-date rescue inhaler available, just in case. Keep young children carefully monitored for the first few days, particularly overnight, and make certain older children understand that they need to speak up if they begin to notice any additional wheezing or chest tightness.