During the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic, parents whose kids have asthma
might wonder if their child's care will change, or there's anything special they should
do. Your child's care team is there to help.
How Can I Keep My Child With Asthma Safe From Coronavirus?
Keep taking care of your child's asthma. This keeps your child's lungs
healthy. That way, if an infection happens, it will be easier for your child to get
Is My Child With Asthma More at Risk From Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Few kids have been found to have the illness. So it's hard for experts to yet know
how COVID-19 might affect kids with ongoing health problems. But asthma and COVID-19
both affect the lungs, and the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is new.
So far, kids with asthma aren't getting COVID-19 more often than people who don't
have asthma. And kids with mild asthma don't seem to get sicker from COVID-19 than
people without asthma. Experts are still learning if people with moderate to
severe asthma might be more likely to get more serious symptoms if they are infected.
Should I Take My Child to Planned Health Care Visits?
Talk to your health care provider. Many doctor's offices are scheduling in-person
visits. Some appointments may be video visits (telehealth).
If your child has an in-person visit, talk to the office about how they are keeping
kids and families safe. The medical staff will be wearing masks. You and your child
should wear them also. Reassure your child that these are safe and there's no reason
to be scared.
If your child is having an asthma flare-up that doesn't get better with treatment,
get care as you would have done before the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals and health
care facilities are taking steps to protect patients and families. This may include
separating sick and well people, wearing masks, and doing temperature checks. It is
safe to get care if your child needs it.
Should I Keep Giving My Child Asthma Medicine?
Yes. Keep giving all regular asthma
medicines unless the care team tells you to stop. Keep about 30 days' worth of
medicine (including for inhalers and nebulizers, if needed) and other needed supplies
on hand. Work with your insurance
company and pharmacy or drugstore to order refills well before they run out.
Be sure to:
Make a schedule and stick to it. This is especially helpful for remembering to
take daily medicines.
Keep giving long-term
controller medicines to help avoid flare-ups. If you aren't sure which they are,
call your doctor's office. If your child uses an asthma inhaler,
be sure they're comfortable using it. Get a refresher from the care team, if needed.
Help your child avoid asthma
triggers. Keep giving allergy medicines, if your child takes them. If pollen
is a trigger for your child, check air quality before going outside (for instance,
for exercise at a safe distance from others). If pollen will be high, stick with inside
activities that day. It's still a good idea for your child to get daily physical activity.
Besides helping your child to keep fit, it can ease stress,
which sometimes can cause an asthma flare-up.
What if My Child Gets Sick? Could It Be COVID-19?
First, call the health care team. They know your child's health history. The doctor
will ask how your child is doing and if they've been around someone with known or
suspected coronavirus. Your doctor's office will tell you what to do next and whether
you need an in-person visit.
Experts suggest using inhalers for someone who is sick instead of nebulizers
when possible during the COVID-19 crisis. That's because nebulizers create a mist.
If someone has the coronavirus and uses a nebulizer, the mist could carry the virus
to others. If your child uses a nebulizer treatment, talk
to your care team about whether your child should switch to an inhaler.
If your child can't use an inhaler, try not to have others in the room when using
the nebulizer. Open a window or do the nebulizer on a porch for better air circulation.
If you need to help your child use the nebulizer, stay behind them (not in front)
during the treatment.
What Else Should I Know?
Strong emotions like stress can trigger an asthma flare-up. Help your child find
ways to relax, stay
calm, and manage stress and anxiety.
Check the CDC
Health Organization (WHO) websites for up-to-date, reliable information about
coronavirus. The CDC
also has information about coronavirus and people with asthma.