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Managing Your Child's Asthma While Traveling

Managing Your Child's Asthma While Traveling

No matter the season, family trips add flavor to childhood, but managing your child’s asthma during the adventure takes a little extra planning and preparation.

Our team at Southfield Pediatrics is dedicated to partnering with parents in providing top-level pediatric care to our Michigan communities throughout childhood and adolescence.

We can’t guarantee a dream-come-true, stress-free vacation, but we’re happy to offer these tips for traveling successfully with asthma:

1. Check with the doctor

Schedule a routine follow-up with your Southfield pediatrician to ensure your child’s asthma is under control before you leave on vacation.

Discuss your travel plans, review your child’s asthma action plan, and request refills as necessary for fast-acting rescue inhalers and other medications.

Your pediatrician can also supply personalized tips related to your child’s asthma history and may recommend adjustments in medication during the trip.  

2. Pack with care

Pack all the necessary medications for your child's asthma, including inhalers, nebulizers, and spacers. An older child can get involved in the packing process, but be sure you double-check their efforts before leaving the house.

If you’re traveling by plane, keep the meds in your carry-on luggage so they’re easily accessible during the flight. In addition, you may want to carry an extra of everything, or at least a rescue inhaler, to ensure coverage if an item is lost in transit.

3. Stick with your routine

If your child is on daily medications for asthma or allergies, ensure they continue them during the trip. It’s easy to lose track of everyday routines when traveling, so consider setting an alarm on your phone to ensure your child gets their meds on time. Even older kids benefit from a parental nudge in this case.

4. Know your child’s asthma triggers   

Research your planned destination, and identify potential asthma triggers such as pollen, pollution, and high altitude. This information can help you plan accordingly and take necessary precautions. Always keep your child's asthma action plan handy so you can refer to it in an emergency.

5. Drink lots of water during the trip

Dehydration can trigger asthma symptoms. The air on planes is notoriously dry and can irritate airways. Air conditioning in cars can have the same drying effects. So, even though it may require extra bathroom stops, ensure your child drinks plenty of water during the trip.

6. Take a rest stop

If you’re traveling by car, take a rest stop every now and then so your child can stretch their legs and get some fresh air. However, avoid areas where smoking is allowed or rest stops where truck engines are idling since both can trigger an asthma attack.

7. Phone ahead

Inform the airline or hotel about your child's condition. Most airlines have policies in place to accommodate passengers with asthma and allergies. Book your stay with a non-smoking hotel and discuss concerns about cleaning supplies that may trigger an asthma attack when making reservations.  

8. Pick a seat

Consider requesting a seat near the front of the plane, as air quality is typically better there. Whether traveling by plane, train, or car, choose a window seat for your child for improved airflow.

9. Check in with your child

Watch your kiddo closely for signs of an asthma flare during your trip and treat quickly as directed by the action plan. The upset in their daily routine, excitement about their trip, and new environmental exposures can trigger asthma.

Schedule an evaluation at Southfield Pediatrics today for more information about managing asthma while traveling. Call the office or request an appointment online. 

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