Traveling and Asthma
A week at the beach with your best friend's family? Or how about sleepover camp? If you have asthma, you'll be packing more than your clothes for these adventures.
But asthma doesn't have to get in the way of your fun. Here's how to be prepared.
What Should I Pack?
Medicines and Supplies
Having your asthma medicine with you is very important. You'll want to pack the kind that helps you get quick relief from symptoms (often called quick-relief, rescue or fast-acting medicine) and the medicine that makes the airways less inflamed (often called controller, maintenance, or long-term control medicine). Sometimes both types are combined in one inhaler.
Keep your medicines handy at all times. If you travel by car, keep them where you can get to them, not in the trunk. If you travel by plane or train, keep them with you in your carry-on bag. If you don't, and your luggage is lost, you won't have your medicine. Even if your luggage isn't lost, not having it with you means you can't use it when you need it. Pack more medicine than you need. It doesn't hurt to have extra. Your mom or dad can help you decide how much is enough.
Asthma Action Plan
Bring a copy of your asthma action plan with you. This plan will tell you what to do if you have breathing trouble. It also has your doctor's phone number on it, in case you need to call.
How Can I Avoid My Asthma Triggers?
Your parents can ask for a sunny, dry room away from the hotel pool to avoid contact with mold. If animals trigger your asthma, they can ask for a room that has never had pets in it. Also, request a nonsmoking room. It also might help to bring your blanket and pillow from home.
Staying With Friends & Family
Tell friends and family about your asthma triggers before you get there. For instance, your host can limit dust mites and mold by dusting and vacuuming carefully, especially in the room you'll sleep in. If anyone smokes or vapes, ask them to do so outside and away from your sleeping area.
Keep your triggers in mind if you'll be outside a lot. Don't do lots of walking or hiking when air pollution or pollen levels are high or if the weather is very cold. If you're camping, sit away from any campfires. Wherever you go, keep the medicine that helps with quick relief of symptoms with you.
What If I'm Going to Sleepover Camp?
If you'll be going somewhere by yourself — like sleepover camp — have your parents talk to the camp counselors and other adults there about your asthma. Your mom or dad can tell them about:
- your medicine and when you need to take it
- your triggers and how to avoid them
- what to do if you have a flare-up
- emergency contacts and phone numbers
All this information should be on your asthma action plan, which should be shared with the counselors.
If you think your asthma care would be hard for you to manage at camp, there may be a solution. Many areas have special camps for kids with asthma, with doctors and nurses on staff. That way, if a kid's asthma flares up, they get the care they need and can go back to having fun!
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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