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.