It’s that time of year that everyone anticipates: weekend getaways to the cottage, playing outdoors all day long and fun family trips. But, if your child suffers from asthma, keeping it under control during the summer months is necessary to ensure he or she has an active and safe school break. Plan ahead and take precautions to reduce their risks. Because asthma doesn’t take a holiday, managing it while away is just as important as it is when at home.
Here are some tips from The Lung Association to help your child take control of their breathing.
Beware of summer asthma triggers such as:
- Dust and mould in the cottage (air quality in a cottage or cabin at summer camp may not be as easy to control as it can be at home)
- Food allergens
- Campfire smoke
- Air pollution
- Mould in the forest
Tips to control triggers:
- Air out the cottage before you spend time inside
- Take your medications as prescribed
- Follow your asthma action plan
- Keep your fast-acting reliever inhaler (usually a blue inhaler) handy and pack an extra one just in case
- Check the air quality health index (AQHI) forecast
- Before you travel, find the nearest emergency medical service at your destination
If you are sending your child to camp, share their action plan with the staff. Every child should have a written action plan from their health-care provider. Camp staff should have key information about your child’s asthma:
- Which medication is taken daily and which is for emergencies
- What triggers can cause their asthma symptoms
- What signs and symptoms may indicate that they are having an asthma attack
- Their emergency contacts
If you have any questions, call The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864) where one of our certified respiratory educators is waiting to take your call. Or visit on.lung.ca.