Taming the Cold: Reclaim the Winter for Children with Asthma
Winter has arrived! That brings 2 challenges to children with asthma. First, they spend more time indoors where allergens and irritants (fireplaces) may trigger their symptoms. Second, the cold dry air outside can trigger asthma, especially while playing or exercising. In this month’s issue of Montana Parent magazine (Family Winter Fun), I provide some tips for dealing with exercising in cold air for children with asthma.
How to prepare for the cold when you have asthma?
- Control your child’s asthma first. (Asthma is not controlled if symptoms or albuterol use exceed twice a day during the day or twice a month at night). If it is not controlled, see an allergist (asthma specialist) to provide a written plan.
- Wear a scarf or cold weather mask that covers the nose and mouth.
- Warm up in the same temperature you will be exercising in.
- Use your quick-relief inhaler (albuterol or lev-albuterol) before going outside.
- Make sure the inhaler has not expired and is not empty.
- Shake the cannister well and “prime” with 3 puffs if the inhaler has not been used in the last 2 weeks.
- Protect the inhaler from freezing: less medication is released in very cold temperatures.
- If asthma symptoms occur while exercising, stop and rest!
- Follow the written Asthma Action Plan provided by your doctor.
- Exercise indoors: if the asthma is not controlled or there has been a recent cold or flu play it safe and stay indoors until the asthma is controlled.
To read the article in Montana Parent magazine go to page 22, at http://digital.turn-page.com/i/425303
At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, we encourage our patients of all ages to get out and enjoy those winter sports! Montana is a winter wonderland. For more information or an evaluation for asthma, contact us at 406-451-7017. Don’t be left out in the cold!
This information is solely for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional.