With the cold, dry winter weather, it’s the time of year we see an increase in childhood asthma flare-ups. Triggers for asthma symptoms during this season are the dry, cold air as well as respiratory or flu infections which each can send your child to the doctor.
But what exactly is asthma? Our lungs have a branch of hollow tubes, like those of tree branches, which allow air to flow through. But with asthma, these tubes fill with thick mucus that gets in the way of breathing. Surrounding these tubes are muscles which can twitch and actually constrict the tubes, preventing the free flow of air through our lungs. A family history of allergy, asthma or eczema can impact our susceptibility to becoming asthmatic.
Here are some tips to follow so your child has fewer asthma problems this winter:
- It’s important that you and your child follow the doctor’s asthma action plan during the winter season. Make sure your asthma medications are up-to-date, and keep your albuterol inhaler close by in case it is needed.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, especially if your child is sick.
- Children 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year, to prevent them from getting the flu. As long as it is still flu season, it’s important to get your child vaccinated.
- Make sure to wash your hands often, with soap and water.
- When outside, bundle up and cover your mouth with a scarf so you are breathing in warmer air, not cold.