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Winter, Kids & Asthma

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Winter, Kids & Asthma

By Gina Carroll, Moms Clean Air Force

Winter is a tough time for children with asthma. As the temperature drops and kids are more exposed to colds and flu germs at school, the opportunity for asthma to be triggered greatly increases. And don’t forget stress. The stress and anxiety of the winter holidays can be a profound trigger that is often ignored, especially in children.

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2005, called the steep increase in asthma emergencies in the fall the “September epidemic,” because researchers found what was already widely acknowledged among health care professionals: fall and winter are allergy and asthma high-alert, high-incidence periods.

3 Ways Winter Is Tough on Kids With Asthma and Their Families

1. Kids are indoors and exposed to more germs and pollutants.
2. Kids with asthma miss more school in the colder months.
3. There are more emergency room visits from asthma suffers.

What Doctors Say About Asthma In Winter

If there is ever a time to be extra careful about day-to-day asthma maintenance, winter is that time. Doctors agree that the key to a successful episode-free winter is symptom control. They suggest to minimize exposure to triggers and to become more vigilant about taking asthma medications. But asthma triggers are not completely within the sufferer’s control. Even when a parent is diligent about germ control—like getting everyone in the household flu shots, and being careful about environmental irritants such as using low allergy cleansers and household products; doctors strongly recommend being especially diligent about sticking to prescribed medication regimens.

My Family Suffers In Winter

I am noticing in our household, my two most sensitive sufferers seem to be in a constant sensitized state, with asthmatic episodes easily triggered. They seem to trade off with fits of coughing and wheezing-like a tag team.

When my daughter returned to Houston from school (in college, she was not suffering from any asthma symptoms), it took three weeks at home for the wheezing and coughing to show up. When she went to the doctor, I was floored by the price list for the medications she needed. FLOORED! For families who do not have insurance or who have policies that do not cover all of those meds, they are between a rock and a hard place. They have to choose between expensive medications (more expensive than gold, according to this blogger), and the cost of emergency rooms, doctor visits and work time off. In reality, households with asthma pay handsomely.

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Moms Clean Air Force

Moms Clean Air Forceis a community of moms, dads and others fighting for clean air and the health of future generations. Follow them on Twitter @ MomsCAF.


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4:39PM PST on Jan 6, 2012

Yay winter!

10:17AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Just another suggestion -- look into Chinese Medicine for asthma relief. I have had asthma since I was a kid, and this is better than any drug for easing my symptoms. Also, running a humidifier at night may help with the dry air issues. I run mine after work until bedtime and then open the window a crack for sleeping. Fresh air helps too! Good LUCK!!

9:50AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Thanks for the information.

6:30PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

mmm...such traditional info here...i would choose to investigate alternatives as Lovely D offers! check out donna eden of eden energy medicine or michael simonson of are so many more integrous ways to pursue help...big pharma may be on the way out...and we can find ways that do not involve drugs!

7:56AM PST on Dec 19, 2011

Try alternative medicines. I have never heard of allopathy curing asthma. The medicines are too strong and have nasty side effects.
Personally, I have seen very good results with homeopathy. This is not a quick cure but once the body builds up the resistance, it is a long term cure and good especially for children. The pills are sweet and children love to take them :)

6:28PM PST on Dec 18, 2011

Not familiar with asthma myself, I'm curious as to what triggers there are aside from air pollution and illnesses mentioned in this article. Is sugar on the list? What about other toxic food additives like artificial colors or msg. The fact that the author's daughter didn't have issues at school but did when she got home got me wondering if there were other factors at work other than the obvious culprits.

9:36AM PST on Dec 18, 2011


11:09AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

One thing that helped in my home was having the ducts cleaned in the air conditioning and heating which are separate in my home. I believe central air units use the same ducts. But the bottom line is they both gather dust and other particles that remain there until it is blown throughout the house. Cleaning makes a big difference in the amount of dust in the home as well as stuff you breathe.

Another big culprit is carpeting and the chemicals used to clean it. Carpet grabs all the foreign particles and each time you walk over it you stir it up into the air. If at all possible get rid of the carpeting or use only organic cleaning methods which are more available now.

If you have pets make sure you brush them regularly as well as bathe them with organic shampoos. You can use organic flea repellent like eucalyptus oil which smells good, helps to open airways and does a great job repelling fleas & ticks.

Hope this helps.

10:43AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

Good post.

6:09AM PST on Dec 17, 2011

We just found out our granddaughter has asthma. Trying to keep a six year old on a schedule for hers can be challenging sometimes. You have to keep in them to stay on schedule. It's no fun to listen or watch them suffer throughout a attack either. Thanks for the article, great information!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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