A parent's guide to managing Asthma triggers in kids

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

C Suman Kumar

As the monsoon season rolls in, it brings not only refreshing rains but also a set of challenges for children with asthma. The transition between seasons can act as a catalyst for asthma symptoms, particularly in children, exacerbating their condition. Remarkably, seasons characterised by increased relative humidity and rainfall often coincide with a surge in monthly hospital admissions among children suffering from asthma.

The increased humidity, allergens, and respiratory infections during this time can trigger asthma symptoms. However, with the right knowledge and proactive management, parents can help their children stay healthy and enjoy the wonders of the monsoon season.

Understanding Monsoon Asthma Triggers

Monsoon asthma triggers can vary, but some common culprits include high humidity, mold/fungus, dust mites, respiratory infections, and air pollution. The damp environment during the rainy season promotes the growth of mold and fungus, which are potent allergens. Dust mites thrive in warm and humid conditions, triggering allergic reactions. Respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu, are more prevalent during the monsoon. Additionally, increased air pollution levels can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Recognising these triggers is crucial for effectively managing your child's asthma during the monsoon season.

Proactive Measures for Managing Monsoon Asthma

Create an asthma-friendly indoor environment: Keep indoor spaces clean, dry, and well-ventilated to minimise the growth of mold and fungus. Regularly clean and dust surfaces, wash bedding in hot water, and use allergen-proof covers on pillows and mattresses. Consider using a dehumidifier and air purifier to maintain optimal air quality.

Stay on top of hygiene and infections: Encourage frequent handwashing and good respiratory hygiene to prevent the spread of infections. Teach your child proper handwashing techniques and the importance of avoiding close contact with sick individuals. Consult with your child's healthcare provider about vaccinations to provide additional protection against respiratory infections.

Monitor and manage indoor air quality: Stay informed about air pollution levels, especially during the monsoon season. Limit outdoor activities during periods of high pollution. Create a clean and smoke-free indoor environment, avoiding incense burning and tobacco smoke exposure.

Follow an asthma action plan: Develop an asthma action plan in consultation with your child's healthcare provider. This plan should outline daily management strategies, including medication usage, symptom monitoring, and steps to take in case of an asthma attack. Regularly review and update the plan as needed.

Encourage physical activity with caution: Engage your child in regular physical activities that are safe and suitable for the monsoon season. Indoor exercises, such as dancing, yoga, or interactive games, can keep them active while minimising exposure to outdoor triggers.

Promote a healthy lifestyle: Ensure your child maintains a nutritious diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and immune-boosting foods. Encourage adequate hydration to keep their respiratory system functioning optimally. Additionally, prioritise stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness activities, as stress can trigger asthma symptoms.

Get annual flu vaccinations (1): Getting infected with the seasonal flu can make breathing problems worse for children with conditions like asthma. To help protect them, it's recommended to keep up with their annual flu shots as it can improve the overall quality of life.

With proactive measures and a well-executed management plan, that would ideally include inhalation therapy - the cornerstone of asthma management , parents can effectively navigate monsoon asthma triggers, ensuring their children stays healthy and enjoys the seasonal wonders. By implementing these strategies, kids can embrace the monsoon season with confidence and resilience.

Dr C Suman Kumar, Consultant, Pediatrician& Intensivist, Hyderabad