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  • Foundation for Airway Health

Preventing Airway Issues: Habits to Cultivate from Childhood

Updated: Jan 26

Having healthy airways is essential for overall health and well-being. Airway issues like

asthma, sleep apnea, and chronic cough can significantly impact quality of life.

Fortunately, there are habits parents can encourage in their children from a young age

to promote healthy airways and reduce the risk of problems down the road.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

● Teach children to brush their teeth twice daily and floss once daily to help

remove plaque and bacteria that can irritate airways.

● Boost your children’s oral hygiene by having them rinse with an antibacterial

mouthwash to reduce bacteria in the mouth and throat.

Encourage Physical Activity

● Encourage regular exercise to improve cardiovascular and respiratory fitness,

strengthening airways.

● Advocate for outdoor activities to help build immunity to environmental allergens

and irritants when possible.

● Strengthen respiratory muscles with sports like swimming.

Investigate the availability of adaptive activities for children with disabilities.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

● Serve children fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants to reduce inflammation

in the airways.

● Avoid serving foods like dairy, wheat, and shellfish to help prevent allergies and

sensitivities that affect breathing.

● Keep children hydrated to thin mucus secretions that can obstruct airways.

Avoid Exposure to Irritants

● Keep children away from secondhand smoke, air pollution, and harsh chemicals

that can damage developing airways to lower their risk of respiratory issues.

● Use air filters at home and masks outside to provide added protection.

Get Plenty of Rest

● Encourage children to follow a regular sleep schedule for restorative sleep

because fatigue weakens the immune system and airway defenses.

● Treat conditions like sleep apnea to improve nighttime breathing.

Instilling healthy habits around oral care, exercise, nutrition, environmental exposures,

and sleep from an early age can go a long way in promoting respiratory health and

preventing chronic airway problems in children. Consulting a pediatrician for guidance

can help parents determine what specific habits to prioritize for their child's needs.

Help Us Promote the Benefits of Airway Health

Join the Foundation for Airway Health’s mission to ensure everyone understands how

breathing impacts health and development. Your donation allows us to spread the word

about the importance of breathing for overall health, conduct valuable research, and

ensure access to care.

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