Asthma! According to the American Lung Association, Asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness in children in the US and to add insult to injury: asthma causes 10.5 million missed school days annually! The moral of the story here is that if your child has Asthma, then consider checking in with your physician and get a game plan for school and flu season (if you already haven’t). If you don’t have kid’s with Asthma, but know a few who do, please pause too and ask their parents about asthma triggers and how you can help. The bottom line: Asthma is just plain mean, effects education, and needs a little extra attention this flu season.
At 2 am this last Christmas Eve, I finished up my elf duties and jumped on Facebook seeking some Holiday cheer. What I found were three different families, up in the wee hours managing asthma attacks while comforting their children that Santa will indeed stop by, even if they were up doing nebulizer treatments. Asthma doesn’t take winter breaks, it doesn’t seem to have a calendar either. Avoiding triggers, having an Asthma Action Plan in place and good rest all seem to help. Always visit your physician regarding asthma management. Each body is different and we all have different asthma triggers. Cold water effects my son, but not cold air (don’t ask, even I don’t understand that one), certain dog hair bothers my son while rabbits do nothing to him.
Here are two respected copies of asthma action plans that you can download and take to your physician and a few websites in case you want more information about asthma:
- Asthma Action Plan from the American Lung Association
- American Lung Association Asthma website link.
- Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America Asthma weblink.
If you are a friend of an asthmatic, before you invite your friend’s over, please ask what their triggers are and help them avoid them. For example, if you have a dog and dog hair is a trigger, then vacuum, try brushing the dog, do a thorough house cleaning or simply host your visit elsewhere. Sometimes scented candles effect my family, so even though those lovely bathroom candles are beautiful with their flickering light, you might find my kid’s eyeball your trees outside!
I was shocked when I learned that Asthma is the Number One for missed school days, but am grateful that we have quite of bit of knowledge available. The good news is that Asthma can be successfully managed and controlled, but only with a plan and physician!
p.s. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) Has a Find An Allergist Link to help you find a specialist in your town