Asthma Doesn't Take a Summer Vacation

Asthma Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation

by Dr. Andres Carrion

People often associate summer as the worst time of year for children who suffer from asthma, but that’s necessarily true. For some kids, the cold of winter can be more detrimental for their symptoms.

No matter what time of year it is, it’s important for parents and adults who work with children to know the warning signs of asthma and for children who show those symptoms to see a doctor.

Signs and Symptoms

Asthma is a potentially life-threatening condition that has seen a significant increase in cases nationwide, jumping nearly 15 percent over 10 years. Asthma is a swelling within the breathing tube. It can go dangerously untreated if it is unnoticed or misdiagnosed.

Often, parents question whether their child’s breathing issues are a result of seasonal allergies, a cold, or something more serious. It’s important to be on the lookout for several signs that may indicate a serious respiratory issue:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Chest congestion
  • Wheezing or whistling sound while breathing
  • Wheezing coughs

Other symptoms include longer recovery periods from illnesses like colds or sinus infections, lingering coughs, and quickly getting tired during physical activity.

Controlling Asthma

The first step toward getting a child’s asthma under control is seeing a doctor. They will assess the child, and based on that assessment, guidelines are given to help to improve the child’s quality of life.

The doctor may also prescribe a medication and inhaled therapy if the child meets certain criteria. Most asthma medications are taken daily, and inhaled therapy, or inhalers, are used as needed to control symptoms.

An asthma diagnosis does not mean a child can’t go out and play, exercise or have fun on summer vacation. In fact, exercise helps to strengthen the lungs and improve lung function, so it can actually be good for children with asthma. It just means that certain steps have to be taken in order to control the symptoms to keep the child happy and healthy.

If you suspect your child has asthma, make an appointment with their pediatrician and take the first step towards getting asthma under control.

Additional Resources

About Dr. Andres Carrion

Andres Carrion, MD, is a pediatric pulmonologist with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health. He received his medical degree from San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He completed his pediatric residency at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital and then went on to complete a Fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology at University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Carrion is Board Certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Pulmonology.

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