Nearly 7 million children have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If you are the parent of an asthmatic, you may notice that your child develops more symptoms during the cold winter months.
Winter tends to bring about viruses, which can trigger asthma attacks in many children. Children are often exposed to these viruses at school, where they are cooped up indoors for many months. If they do venture outside, the cold, dry air can cause their airwaves to tighten. Both viruses and the cold air can lead to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
Keeping asthma under control
It is important for your child to keep their asthma under control during these winter months. For some children, this may mean making sure they are compliant with the daily medicine their pediatrician has given them. For other children, they may need to start a daily control or medicine that they only use during the winter months.
If your child develops an asthma attack
Talk to your child’s pediatrician to develop an asthma plan so you know exactly what to do in case your child develops symptoms suddenly. Be sure to have a rescue medication, such as Albuterol, on hand in case your child does have an asthma attack. Some pediatricians will even give a prescription for an oral steroid to be used during the winter months in case your child develops symptoms suddenly.
Use common sense when protecting your child from asthma during the winter months. Stay bundled and give them a scarf to breathe through so that their breath is warmed when they are outside. Limit the time they spend outdoors in the cold air. Also, as in every season, teach them to wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of viruses.