Temperatures are Changing: Keeping Acute Asthma at Bay

Published Oct 8, 2013

This article was contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12@gmail.com

As the seasons begin to change, many people who suffer from asthma attacks need to pay closer attention to their activities. As my daughter suffers from severe bouts of asthma when fall arrives, we have to take special precautions in order to prevent taking a trip to the Children’s Hospital. Although she loved the plane ride, I would prefer not seeing my eight-year old in that predicament again. In order to prevent her attacks from flaring up, what do we do as parents?

1. Keeping Warm

Since the main culprit of her asthma attacks is cold, we focus on making sure she has enough clothes on for the climate. Although we can’t watch her activities at school, we make sure that she is dressed preventative according to the weather reports in the mornings. We’ve taught her to wear her scarf like a “ninja mask” in order to keep from inhaling the brisk air. As she exhales, the scarf is temporarily heated allowing the next breath in to pass through the warmer material.

2. Oxygen Levels in the Blood

Using a non-intrusive monitor, we regularly check the oxygen levels of her blood. These devices are simple to use and don’t cause any pain what-so-ever. Every morning and night, we clamp this device gently on her finger and it measures our daughter’s pulse rate as well as the oxygenation of her blood stream. Anything below 85 percent is cause to worry. If her levels are below 85, we have our daughter take three deep breaths and check her again. This usually increases the levels back to normal – at which point we test again in an hour or two in order to make sure she stabilizes. If not, then we administer an Albuterol treatment through the nebulizer.

3. Ionizer and Filter

Using an Edenpure air purifier in her room, we rest easy knowing that her breathing at night is being filtered. These little units work exceptionally well and keep the room’s air quality tolerable for our daughter. We also have a few smaller socket-sized units that plug directly into the wall that ionize the air as well. You’d be amazed at how much gunk can be attracted to the unit just after a month’s worth of use. When it gets full, we take a Q-tip or cotton swab and clean out the collection of junk from its prongs.

4. Inhaler

We always make sure she has access to her emergency inhaler regardless of what time of year it is. However, the fall is when her attacks usually occur and we double check her access to the device often. Our daughter’s school is aware of her condition and has been authorized to administer the inhaler and Epi pen if things turn for the worse. Luckily we have yet to uncap the pen, and I hope it stays that way.

It was a frightening experience to see my daughter in that hospital bed as her oxygen levels dropped to 65 percent and lower. I’ve never felt so helpless in all of my life as I looked at her blue lips. After spending two days in intensive care, she was able to stabilize the oxygen levels. Although she doesn’t truly understand the ramifications of the experience, she knows how upset I was. Find out everything you can about asthma attacks for your child and save yourself from a world of stress.


Francesca Stahl
By Francesca Stahl
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