If your child has asthma – the breathing condition that causes bouts of wheezing and shortness of breath – you know that sometimes a change of season can trigger asthma attacks. The pediatricians and staff at 24/7 Pediatric Child Care Centers are standing by to support you via phone or visit if attacks occur. However, working as a team, you and your child can take some precautions to reduce the chances of an asthma attack.
Guard Against Substances and Events that “Trigger” Attacks
Working with 24/7 pediatricians and nurse practitioners, you have been advised of the list of triggers that can affect your child. These may be allergens like dust mites and animal dander, molds, and pollens. With the arrival of cold weather, drafts and cold air may also become triggers, as can outdoor exercise.
The key to avoiding attacks is preventing exposure to these triggers. Here are some reminders on controlling exposure:
- Keep pets out of the bedroom if your child is allergic to animal dander.
- Limit the number of stuffed toys in the bedroom, and wash them frequently.
- Encase mattresses, box springs, pillows and cushions in allergen-proof, zip-up covers.
- Wash linens weekly and other bedding like blankets every 2 to 3 weeks in hot water to kill dust mites and remove any other debris, such as mold or pollens.
- To prevent mold growth, use fans in the bathroom and kitchen and fix leaky pipes and windows to prevent moisture from accumulating.
- Help your child avoid drafts, and on cold, windy days make sure your child knows how to block his or her mouth and nose with a scarf.
Stay on Your Child’s Plan
Your child’s asthma action plan should be in effect all year, including during winter months. That means giving your child routine medications as outlined on the plan, and emergency medicines when needed. Talk with your pediatrician or nurse practitioner at 24/7 if you would like a review of steps on the plan.
Keeping a consistent routine each day will go far to prevent asthma attacks. But when attacks occur and don’t let up for a day, be sure to call 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers right away.
Has your child had a flu shot? With your doctor’s OK, these shots can prevent a case of flu, which can often lead to an asthma attack.
At 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers, we’re here to help all year round. Here’s hoping you and your child have a safe and healthy winter season!