Yeah! Summer is here! This is my favorite time of the year, but for many people summer can bring worsening asthma, allergies, and eczema. If your child’s asthma acts up during the summer, you’ll appreciate these tips from Zoe.
How to Manage Your Child’s Asthma This Summer!
by Zoe Camp (see bio below)
Summer’s finally here, and you know what that means: school’s out, and it’s time for some fun in the sun! Whether you’re headed to the pool, the beach, or a neighborhood cookout, you’ll probably find yourself constantly on the go over the next few months. However, if you have a child with asthma, the summer months can be stressful. It’s difficult enough to make sure that your kid’s favorite swim goggles don’t go missing. What do you do if you’re 100 miles into your drive home from a relaxing vacation, only to discover that you left the inhaler behind? Luckily, there are plenty of simple, convenient steps you can take to manage your child’s asthma this summer and still enjoy the best the season has to offer.
Keep Supplies Handy
Always keep your child’s asthma medications on hand in case of emergency. Make sure they bring them with them if they’re headed to a play-date or camp, and if they’re too young to administer it themselves, be sure to inform your child’s caretaker of their specific needs. Pick a bag with a fun pattern – or for a more interactive option, get a plastic bin and decorate it with stickers! If your medication requires refrigeration, make sure to have a cooler that will maintain adequate temperatures for medicines.
Be Wary of Triggers
The summer months can be brutal when It comes to asthmatic and allergic triggers. With increased temperatures come higher humidity levels, increased air pollution, and the highest pollen levels of the year. Additionally, because dust mites thrive in warm, humid places, the pesky critters can prove to be a real annoyance. To cut down on your kids’ exposure to allergens, don’t let them play in the grass after it’s been freshly mowed. Check air quality levels daily, and make sure to have an emergency inhaler on hand, just in case.
Try a Travel Nebulizer
If you use a nebulizer to treat your child’s asthma, consider investing in a travel nebulizer if you plan to spend a lot of time away from home. These models provide the same quality of treatment as a traditional tabletop nebulizer, but with extra portability: they fit into your bag or purse, and run on AA batteries. All you need to do is find a place to sit for a few minutes, such as a rest stop or in the car.
If you’re headed to the beach or Grandma’s house and don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning your nebulizer set, you might want to try a disposable model. Disposable nebulizer sets are frequently used by doctors, typically cost around $7, and can be used for up to 2 weeks at a time. Just have your portable or tabletop compressor ready, and throw the nebulizer set away when you’re finished. Affordable AND convenient.
There’s nothing like relaxing in the comfort of an air-conditioned home when the mercury rises, but did you know that your trusty A.C. can be a major asthma-buster as well? Air conditioning units cut down on the humidity indoors, which in turn can help fend off moisture-loving nuisances like mold and dust mites. Ceiling fans are just as useful. Just make sure to wipe down filters and fans with a dampened cloth now and again to take care of any dust.
Have a Back-Up Plan in Case of Emergencies
Because summer is accompanied by heightened trigger risks, it’s essential that you have a plan of action in the event of an attack. Work with your child’s physician to write up an Asthma Action Plan to give to camp counselors or friends’ parents in case of emergency, and make sure to keep a peak flow meter on hand to monitor airflow throughout the day.
If It’s a Scorcher, Stay Indoors
Hot, sticky days can be dangerous for people suffering from asthma, and the risk is especially strong for children. On muggy days, when the air quality is low, spending time outside can be risky – and because chlorine can sometimes act as a trigger, cooling off in the pool might not be the best idea on days with high humidity. Work with your children to come up with fun things to do when it’s too hot to play outside – head to the movie theater, read books, or relax with some arts and crafts!
Remember, summer vacation is a time to kick back and take it easy. By taking the necessary precautions and investing in the necessary supplies, you can keep your loved ones happy and healthy, and have some time to relax yourself!
Bio: Zoe Camp is an avid blogger for justnebulizers.com and a student at Columbia University who spends her time researching and writing about health care, specifically pulmonary health issues.