One thing I am worried about as summer is starting is if my daughter Kitty will remember to take her daily, controller (or maintenance) asthma medication.
I remember listening to a webinar where a doctor talked about the dangers of not taking asthma medicine during the summer. (I wish I could find the webinar, but I can't remember which doctor gave the presentation.) I did find a website where someone asked that same question. Dr. Daniel More answered a question on About.com
I think the problem is that kids and adults may be start a different routine. Kids are out of school, so they are sleeping in, going to summer camp, starting swimming lessons or attending sports or dance camps. So their regular routines are thrown off.
The same thing can be said for adults who are traveling, we may forget to take our daily, maintenance asthma medicine too.
Dr. More said:
"There are many reasons why stopping asthma medications during the summer is a bad idea. First, it's rare to have the underlying problem of asthma -- inflammation of the lungs -- go away during the summer. For most people with asthma, inflammation in the lungs is there all the time, and this needs to be treated all year long. Stopping asthma medicines during the summer leaves inflammation untreated, which could lead to complications from asthma (such as emergency room visits and hospitalizations)."
Yikes! That's a scary thought! When my kids were younger, they were hospitalized 12 different times for asthma (two of those were ICU). And it is VERY scary to watch your child struggling to breathe.
Dr. More also said:
"Second, asthma attacks during the summer are still very possible, especially with a variety of asthma triggers around during this time of year. Grass pollen is present in high amounts during the summer, which can trigger asthma symptoms if a person is allergic to grass. Smoke from campfires or barbecues can act as an irritant in the lungs, causes asthma symptoms. Some people can even be allergic to barbecue smoke, especially if the smoke is from a wood such as mesquite, and the person is allergic to mesquite pollen.
Exercise-induced asthma, as a result of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and swimming, is also more common during the summer months."
Dr. More also talks about when kids return to school in the fall, they are around lots of other kids - which can leads to lots of germs and getting sick. He also said that:
".......one of the most common times of the year for asthma attacks in kids is within the first few weeks of starting back at school........."
Does anyone have any ideas of how you make sure your kids take their asthma medicine during the summer? And any tips for the adults who are also traveling and may forget to take their asthma medicine too?
I want to avoid another asthma attack and trip to the E.R for my kids.