Schools out for summer, but know that asthma doesn’t take a vacation. However, that doesn’t mean asthmatic kids have to stay cooped up inside all summer. With careful management, asthma shouldn’t hold kids with asthma back during summer, or any other time of the year. Follow these 6 recommendations for a fun, safe summer with asthma!
- Stick to the meds. Even if your child isn’t having any symptoms, cutting back on asthma medications in the summer months puts them at greater risk for more serious symptoms when fall rolls around. Continue to take all asthma medication as prescribed throughout the summer, whether symptoms are showing or not.
- Schedule a check-up. Asthma hospitalizations and ER visits tend to spike in the fall. Increased exposure to respiratory infections from other kids in school and elevated levels of fall pollen and mold help explain the rise in asthma attacks in autumn. Schedule a checkup with your child’s doctor during summer down time to prep for the fall and see if any adjustments to your child’s asthma treatment regimen should be made.
- Keep an eye on air quality reports. Weather changes, pollution, and allergens can all affect the summertime air quality. Hot, humid days can make breathing tougher. Especially in urban areas, outdoor air pollution rises with temperature. Common allergens, like grass and mold, are still present in the summer. Stay tuned in to weather and pollen reports to plan when it might be safe to stay indoors. AccuWeather has a helpful asthma forecast feature here.
- Play smart. Always carry an exercise inhaler when exercising. Consult with your asthma specialist about any new physical activities your kids will be participating in this summer and they will fill you in on the right precautions.
- Double check your travel bags. Keep an asthma action plan and all medicines, including emergency medicine, on hand if you take any trips. Check the expiration date on the inhaler and make sure it’s full and will last the length of your trip as well.
- Brief summer camp staff. If your child is heading off to camp, be sure to chat with the person in charge of medical care and your child’s counselor about your child’s medical needs so that the appropriate people are prepared in case of an asthma emergency.