Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes breathing difficulties. The condition can cause lung inflammation or swelling and results in the narrowing of the airways, making it hard for anyone to breath. The associated difficulties make everyday activities and sleeping hard for a child suffering from asthma, especially in the winters. Have you ever wondered why this season flare-ups asthma in kids? It is due to the upper respiratory infections and cold prevalent in this season along with dry air which often trigger or worsen asthma symptoms.
If your child is asthmatic, let’s keep them healthy and safe this winter and during the pandemic times from asthma attacks. To help you avoid frequent visits to the hospital, here are a few simple tips to manage the asthma symptoms while the winter winds blow cold and dry. Just keep reading the post now!
What are the common triggers of asthma attacks?
Here are a few triggering agents:
- Cold, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia
- Exposure to air pollutants, smoke, strong perfumes
- Stress can bring shortness of breath
- Increased physical activity tightens the chest, coughing and sneezing
- Allergens like animal dander, pollen, or dust mites
- Consumption of cold or chilled food items
What are the factors increasing the risk of asthma in kids?
Here are a few factors that might increase your child’s chance of developing asthma:
- Low birth weight
- Hay fever or skin allergies
- Reduced lung function at birth
- Exposure to chlorinated water in swimming pools
- A family history of asthma or allergies
- Exposure to second-hand smoke
Tips to manage the paediatric asthma during the winter season:
Winters are the hardest season for the kids living with asthma to cope with. Yes! Extra care and attention should be provided to the kids to reduce the worsening symptoms of asthma outbursts. Check out the below tips to manage the muscle spasms and the lining of the airways as they get inflamed during the winter months:
Teach kids to wash the hands frequently:
Washing the hands regularly with soap and water or rubbing alcohol-based sanitizer immediately after coughing or sneezing helps in avoiding the spread of viruses and prevents catching the colds during the winter months. Its mandatory, especially in this pandemic season when a Covid-19 infection among asthmatic kids can prove to be fatal.
Get your child a flu shot:
Getting an annual flu shot helps to keep asthma symptoms under control. It also prevents catching the seasonal influenza. Also, avoid getting the nasal spray vaccine as it could trigger an asthma attack.
Eliminate exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke:
Don’t encourage anyone to smoke inside the home or inside the vehicle as it may trigger breathing problems or increase the existing breathing issues.
Frame asthma action plan (management plan) for kids:
Prepare an asthma treatment plan irrespective of the season running currently. This helps you handle and manage your kid’s asthma symptoms whenever it pops up.
Plan indoor physical activity:
Encourage your kid to play indoors whenever the temperature outside dips. When moving outdoors, use cotton earbuds to prevent entry of cold air through the ears.
Monitor the temperature and humidity inside the house:
Fluctuation in humidity and temperature inside the home can trigger asthma symptoms. So, speak to your child’s doctor about using a humidifier to manage the right humidity inside the house.
Identify your child’s triggering agents:
Yes! Detect the allergens and get your child tested for allergies with the doctor’s help. This helps to prevent asthma flare-ups.
Encourage your child to stay away from illness:
Limit your family members and also your child’s exposure to people outside who suffer from sinus and upper respiratory infections as it can intensify asthma symptoms.
Give medicines as prescribed:
Follow the doctor’s prescription as directed. Kids may need to take long-term medications to prevent airways from irritation. Also try using the nebulizer or inhaler to get the medicines directly into the lungs. Always keep quick-relief medicines handy to meet your child needs in case of emergency. Also, consult the doctor if symptoms are getting worse and continue to get regular check-ups whenever required.
Maintain a healthy weight:
A good diet rich in vitamin-C, including fresh fruits and vegetables is important to boost immunity and manage a healthy weight in kids. Also, speak to the doctor and avoid any specific allergic foods as it directly impacts your child’s health and may trigger asthma symptoms.
Help your child manage the paediatric asthma by following the above-mentioned tips and understand his or her body response that can trigger an asthma attack. Work closely with the paediatrician to keep the child safe during the winter and COVID times.