A large part of managing asthma is identifying and limiting your exposure to the conditions that can trigger asthma attacks. And while the warm, humid air of summer is the friend of many asthmatics, it can trigger issues in others.
As a pediatric asthma specialist, Smita Tandon, MD, of Dr 2 Kids in Fountain Valley, California, is always happy to help with your child’s asthma management needs. Living with asthma takes patience, preparation, and sometimes a little trial and error as you learn how your child’s asthma responds to a wide range of triggers.
In this blog, Dr. Tandon explains how you can manage your child’s asthma during the summer months.
Though cold air sensitivity could give the impression that warm air is better, pediatric hospital visits for asthma attacks climb when temperatures reach 86°F or above, particularly when a pollutant called elemental carbon is abundant. It can take as little as four minutes of breathing hot, humid air to produce an asthma attack.
Allergens are often asthma triggers in themselves, so be aware of peak pollen conditions for any seasonal substances your child may be allergic to. Ask Dr. Tandon about allergy medications or allergy shots. Controlling your child’s immune system response to allergens could reduce the possibility of allergens triggering bouts of asthma.
Find a source of reliable air quality information, whether from a smartphone app or local media source. This can help you plan outdoor time around poor air quality times and days. Use the cooler morning and evening hours when possible for play and errands, and plan indoor activities during the hottest hours.
When planning outdoor activities, include water play, which can help mitigate the heat. Swimming is recommended exercise for asthmatics in general. In some cases, though, the chlorine used in pools can trigger asthma attacks, so watch out for such a response in your child.
Dry conditions can trigger asthma attacks, but excessive humidity can create havens for mold spores and dust mites. Just as you might humidify your home in the winter, dehumidifying in the summer could reduce the number of attacks your child has. Aim for 40-50% relative humidity indoors.
A little preparation can improve your chances for a fun summer season for your child. Develop a plan with Dr. Tandon, so you can be prepared for all occasions. And monitor your child and notify Dr. Tandon regarding allergic reactions or issues with medications your child may be taking.
To get help managing your child’s allergies, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr 2 Kids today for an in-person visit or telehealth meeting.