4 ways to deal with asthma

4 ways to deal with asthma

Hopefully, before you know it, summer will be here. It’s a time when kids are gearing up to leave the four walls of the classroom and spend fun-filled days outdoors with friends.

And with careful planning, kids with asthma don’t have to miss out on summertime activities.

“Managing asthma can be difficult in the summer, given a number of triggers ranging from humid and severe weather to high levels of pollen and air pollution,” says Dr. Prashant Deshpande, a pediatrician on staff at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. “These triggers can lead to flare-ups and asthma attacks. So it’s important to work with your child’s doctor ahead of summer break to create or update an asthma action plan that takes these triggers into account.”

Personalization, adds Dr. Deshpande, is key.

“An asthma action plan is not one size fits all,” he says. “You should take into account the severity of your child’s asthma.”

Dr. Deshpande offers these four tips to consider when making your summer plans:

  • Monitor the air: Air quality can be a major trigger of asthma. Check the air quality before you let your child outside.
  • Select the right activities: Sports that include periods of down time are best for those with asthma. This includes golf, biking and baseball. Swimming is another good option, as long as the pool is in a well-vitalized space.
  • Manage medications: While the weather changes in the summer, you should never stop a medication without talking to your child’s doctor, even if it appears symptoms are controlled. It’s important to inform others of the medications your child takes – including the camp counselor, baseball coach or other parents.
  • Skip the fan: The air inside your house and car is also important. Turning on the air conditioning is best, as fans can circulate dust and other particles.

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Michelle Howe