Springtime is upon us and that means, so are seasonal allergies which are often a trigger for asthma.
We asked Dory Baker, a nurse practitioner in Children’s Minnesota Asthma Clinic, to share her tips to help your child with asthma.
“Your primary care provider can help you identify your child’s asthma triggers and create an asthma action plan to use at home and at school. The plan should include early warning signs of an asthma flare up, which medications to use and when to call your provider. By working together with your provider we can all be sure that your child is active, sleeping at night and attending school without any asthma symptoms,” said Baker.
While there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to learn to manage it. Here are six more tips:
- Answer these four questions regularly to find out if your child’s asthma is under control. If you answer yes to any of the questions in the questionnaire, your child’s asthma may not be under control. The next step would be to contact your primary or specialty care clinic.
- Decrease allergy exposure. As a parent, paying attention to pollen counts is important when your child wants to play outside. Other ways to help decrease your child’s allergy exposure are: keep doors and windows closed, shower nightly after being outside and avoid being outside on windy days from midmorning to midafternoon.
- Visit a nurse practitioner or doctor every 6 months. Create and follow an asthma action plan with a provider’s guidance to prepare you for your child’s year-round activities. Visiting a nurse practitioner or doctor will help you determine if allergy medications are needed in addition to your asthma medicines.
- Keep your home trigger free. A few at-home triggers of asthma are: smoke, dust mites, mold, cockroaches and mice. Avoiding these triggers can help decrease your child’s asthma episodes. Here are additional ways to help you avoid asthma triggers in your home.
- Learn how to recognize asthma symptoms. If you can recognize what early warning signs of asthma are, for example, runny nose or cough, you can treat those asthma flare-ups early and prevent them from getting worse. This will help you be prepared for a flare-up at any time throughout the day.
- Keep refills up to date. Making sure your child’s refills for controller and rescue medications are up to date is important, especially when you’re traveling, have outings and during school.
At Children’s, we have an Asthma Program that is your go-to place if your child has asthma. We want to help your kid feel like a kid and not have to worry about asthma flare-ups. Our specialized team of pediatric nurse practitioners and respiratory therapists are experts at teaching children and families how to control asthma.
We want to help your child breathe more easily – so you can, too.
Children’s Minnesota and Kohl’s Cares partnership
Children’s Minnesota is your partner in providing information, educational tools, resources and clinical expertise to keep students as healthy as possible. Through a generous grant from Kohl’s Cares, we are partnering with local schools and have set an ambitious goal to help reduce unscheduled visits to the school nurse’s office due to asthma. Everyone can breathe easier when pediatric asthma is well-controlled.