Traveling and Asthma
Your child's asthma shouldn't stop you from planning a family vacation or sending your child to sleepover camp or on a trip with friends. With some careful preparation and communication, you and your child should be able to enjoy all the benefits of time away from home.
Before you travel, make sure that your child's asthma is well controlled. If it's been flaring up, you should check in with the doctor. Your child might need a change in medications or might need to see the doctor before leaving.
Before You Go
When packing, be sure to include your child's rescue and controller medications. Keep them handy, not buried in the car trunk. And if you're flying, be sure to take them in your carry-on luggage. That way, you'll have them if your child needs the medications during the flight or if your checked bags go astray.
You'll also want to pack a peak flow meter (if your child uses one), health insurance cards and information, and the asthma action plan (that way you'll have the names of medicines, dosage information, and your doctor's phone number, just in case).
If you're traveling abroad, consider taking a letter from the doctor that describes your child's diagnosis, medications, and equipment. This can help you with airport security or customs. It's also smart to have the generic names of all medicines, in case they're called something else in another country.
If your child uses a nebulizer, you might want to invest in a portable version. Many of these can be plugged into the cigarette lighter in a car. If you'll be traveling abroad, make sure you have the adapter you need to use it.
Buses, trains, and cars may contain many of the same potential allergens as your home, including dust mites and mold that are trapped in the upholstery or the ventilation system. You can't do much about the bus or train, but if you're traveling by car, try this: Run the air conditioner or heater, with the windows open, for at least 10 minutes. This will help reduce mold and dust mites in the car.
If pollen counts or pollution levels affect your child's asthma and are high during your trip, travel with the windows closed and the air conditioner on.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2009 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.
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