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Living with Asthma: Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Winter

Getting through the winter with asthma is never fun. The cold air, smoking fires, and an abundance of dusty holiday decorations are a constant challenge for your respiratory system to handle, even if you don’t have allergies exacerbating your asthma. Unfortunately, the holiday season can be even harder for asthmatic children. Living with asthma can be difficult. But there are ways to cope with it. Try these outdoor activities to enjoy during winter while still breathing fully.

Children who suffer from asthma often get the sticky end of the lollipop when it comes to the holidays. They want to play outside and enjoy the winter weather, but that isn’t always in their best interest either. A serious asthma attack won’t just ruin their fun; it can put their health at risk. Therefore, it’s important to prepare and plan activities around your child’s asthma to ensure that they can enjoy their winter fun as safely as possible.

Consider Mild Risk Activities

If your child has ever had a moderate to severe asthma attack, then outdoor activities should be carefully evaluated. Talk with your child’s asthma doctor to help identify potential triggers that could aggravate your little one’s condition. For many asthmatics, the cold air itself can trigger symptoms, often made worse by strenuous exercise.

Living with Asthma: Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Winter

Fortunately, you can limit the extent of your child’s symptoms by being proactive and choosing activities that only require short bursts of strenuous activity. Sports that involve sustained cardio, such as football, soccer, and hockey may not be best for your child. That is, unless they’re drawn towards the post of goalie. However, volleyball, basketball, and even baseball provide excellent opportunities for children to play by only requiring short bursts of energy. You could argue that basketball requires more, but it is generally played in an indoor court, giving your child’s lungs the break they need.

Plan Ahead When You’re Outdoors

For the times when strenuous outdoor activities are simply unavoidable, it is important to plan ahead. Make sure they’re comfortably snuggled in a favorite scarf that can be used to cover their nose and mouth. The scarf will help to warm the air before it reaches your child’s airways, while also encouraging your child to breathe through their nose to further warm the air. You should also make sure they are well-hydrated before leaving. A steaming cup of tea or a simple glass of water will help to hydrate their respiratory passages and make breathing a little easier.

Children who have serious asthma may also benefit from proactive medication. A pediatric pulmonologist can help you determine what medications are best for pre-medicating your child. The emergency inhaler often given to asthmatics is rarely the best option for pre-medication. So your child’s doctor can to talk you through alternative medications for regular use if your child struggles with their asthma during the winter months.

Preparing for an Attack

Despite all your best efforts, there is always the possibility that your child will have a serious asthma attack. As long as you plan for that possibility, you have little to worry about. Therefore, you should never leave the house without your child’s emergency inhaler. Keep it in a pocket close to your body to keep it warm. And always replace it before its expiration date to ensure maximum efficacy. In addition, it may be beneficial to keep a thermos of warm water or tea with you whenever you’re out together. Having a thermos on hand makes it much easier to keep their respiratory pathways warm and moist.

Regarding any other concerns you may have, especially anything to do with specific allergies or triggers, you should consult a professional pediatric pulmonologist New York. Together, with your allergy specialist NYC, can put together a plan that will allow your child to enjoy the magic of the season and stay safe throughout all of it.

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