Don’t let asthma ruin your child’s summer holidays this year. Children and adults alike want to be out in the sunshine and fresh air – not cooped up, bored for two months! Ensure your little ones are out and about, playing with their friends this summer with our quick and easy tips for managing your child’s asthma.
On average, there are three asthmatic children in every UK classroom, so even if your child does not suffer, then it is likely a friend of family member’s little one just might. It is important that you know how to manage child’s asthma, as the condition hospitalises a child every 20 minutes in the UK.
The summer holidays bring times where you may not be able to keep as close an eye on your child as you would like, as they may be in the care of family, friends, or at summer camps and clubs. As a result, your child may be around people who are not familiar with their condition. Asthma can be triggered by a number of things, including all types of pollen, animal fur, exercise, cold air and also humidity in higher temperatures. With many of these triggers associated with outdoor fun, it is vital to keep on top of your child’s asthma this summer.
While it is vital that you and your child are always prepared for attacks and emergencies, the most important thing is that you are able to teach your child how to manage their health condition when you are not around, so that you can both relax and enjoy the summer.
Asthma Can Affect Children Differently To Adults
Although there are many similarities between asthma symptoms in children and in adults (shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest), there are some differences:
While adults tend to get persistent, ongoing symptoms that may need daily medications, children often have intermittent episodes of worsened symptoms, often caused by colds or contact with dust, pollens, etc. This episodes can result in a lingering cough.
Children are also more likely to have skin manifestations and food allergies alongside asthma.
If a child can manage their symptoms early, they can keep them to a minimum – if it is not managed correctly then they can damage the development of their lungs and increase their chance of developing serious, asthma-related problems in adulthood.
MySelfCare’s Tips For Managing Your Childs Asthma
Ensure your child always carries their medicine: This usually includes a brown, preventer inhaler, to be used daily, and a blue, reliever inhaler – this is usually the blue inhaler to be used for when summer allergies strike. To find out more about causes, symptoms and triggers of asthma, see our blog.
Have an up-to-date asthma action plan: Ensure everyone who is looking after your child has access to this – so they your child’s routines, medicines and symptoms.
Manage triggers before you find them: If you are going to a hotel or holiday home, call ahead to ensure that they don’t allow smokers or animals on the premises. Don’t visit parks or fields that have been freshly cut.
Visit your child’s asthma specialist: They will be able to give up to date advice and help for their current conditions. They will be able to assess your child’s current conditions ahead of the summer and advise on the right precautions to take.
Keep cool when you can: On hot, summer days, opt for activities that are cool or out of the more intense heat (between 12-3pm) as this is when the air quality is at its worst. Air con and ceiling fans can reduce humidity, but do ensure that these are clean and not dusty!
Use MySelfCare’s Finger Pulse Reader – to take blood oxygen readings at home or on-the-go. Your child’s readings are then automatically sent to your phone so, wherever they are, you can have the peace of mind that they are breathing easy and managing their asthma.
For more tips on managing asthma, take a look at this video from Asthma UK:
Asthma-Friendly Summer Activities
Outdoors: Asthma does not mean that your child has to miss out on the summer fun. Plan outdoor activities like gardening, fruit-picking, treasure hunts, picnics and earlier in the day, or on days when the pollen count and humidity is low.
Indoors: If you child is struggling with humidity or allergy triggers, bring the summer fun indoors with a trip to the cinema, the swimming pool or a museum. Indoor play parks are also a great, active alternative for the summer holidays. Invite friends over to play so your child doesn’t feel excluded, just remember to keep windows closed to ensure the pesky pollen doesn’t get in!
Exercise: Exercise can, in fact, be good for your child’s asthma. If managed correctly and in controlled, asthma-friendly environments, giving your lungs regular exercise can actually cut the risk of asthma symptoms by increasing stamina. Famous athletes, Paula Radcliffe, Laura Trott and David Beckham all suffer from asthma, and it sure doesn’t stop them!
We love this activity booklet that has been put together by PBS Kids to help your children understand that they can still be active, healthy and sociable with their asthma. Take your child through, so they can understand the implications but more importantly how having asthma doesn’t mean they have to miss out on their favourite things.
MySelfCare is inspired to bring more control, and total peace of mind to the lives of people who are living with long-term health conditions. We strive to provide effective self-care, our home health care devices give more control to patients and their loved ones by allowing them to effectively manage their health.