Traveling with asthma amazing explanation guidelines
Traveling with asthma Mindy is a toddler with mild persistent asthma. She had never been hospitalized or treated in the emergency room. On a family trip to Florida, she ended up in the emergency room with an asthma attack. This took her parents totally by surprise because her asthma had always been under control. She was treated at a local hospital emergency room that did not specialize in pediatrics. Mindy did well, but this little detour in the family vacation certainly frightened her parents.
When planning any trip, you map out a route and make reservations. When you pack for a trip, you consider where you are going, how you will be getting there, how long you will be away, and what the weather will be like. You don’t just randomly throw things into a suitcase. You select the right type of clothes and accessories (such as sunscreen), make sure they are in good condition, and pack them so you will be able to get to them when you need them.
Traveling with asthma never takes a vacation, so asthma therapy shouldn’t either. Planning ahead to keep asthma under control during travel requires similar planning. When you’re prepared, there should be no interruption in therapy during travel. Being prepared means figuring out in advance where you can get expert treatment if your child develops an asthma flare and Traveling with asthma, both along the way and at your destination. Think about the environment you will be visiting. Is it dry, dusty, damp? Could there be potential triggers to which your child isn’t normally exposed? Remember that your child may seem fine, but in an environment away from home, you never know what triggers your child might encounter.
Your daily schedule on a trip will probably differ from routines at home, so figure out when asthma treatments can be realistically given during the trip, make a schedule, and stick to it. If you miss a dose or two, your child could possibly develop a flare, and that would put a damper on your plans. Some other travel tips are:
- Make sure you have a full supply of controller and quick-relief medicines, as well as their necessary delivery devices. A vacation is not the time to let your teenager use his inhaler without the spacer just so he doesn’t have to pack it.
- Bring contact information for your child’s physician or nurse practitioner, and pharmacy.
- Be sure to take along a copy of your child’s asthma management plan.
- If you are planning a car trip that will take more than a few hours, plan treatment stops along the way. It is safer and more efficient to give medicine—especially inhaled medicine—when the car is stopped so you can give your full attention to the treatment.
- Before you leave home, identify hospitals at your destination where you can go for urgent care, just in case.
Medicine when traveling
Before packing asthma medicines for a trip, keep these suggestions in mind:
- Take extra medicine. Pack one and a half times what you think you’ll need for the number of days you’ll be away in case you are delayed, the trip is extended, or you have to use more medicine than usual because your child experiences an asthma flare.
- All medicines should travel in appropriate containers. Keep them in the containers they came in from the pharmacy. All the necessary information should be on the pharmacy label. Labels should show the child’s name, medicine name, dose, name of the prescribe, and the medicine’s strength. Many parents know the name of their child’s medicine but not its strength; this can cause problems because many medicines come in multiple strengths.
- Pack medicines so you’ll have immediate access to them at any time during the trip. They should be packed so that they’re protected from getting wet or from extreme temperatures. When traveling with asthma by car, keep medicines up front in the passenger area, not in the trunk or glove compartment, which can become too warm. On a plane, keep medicines with you in a carry-on bag. Do not pack them in a suitcase that will be checked and stowed in the baggage compartment. It is more likely to get lost and could be exposed to temperature extremes.
- Have quick-relief medicine available at all times. Don’t leave it behind at the hotel when you go out for the day while Traveling with asthma.
If your child takes medicine by nebulizer, you may want to consider obtaining a portable nebulizer, which is usually smaller than a regular nebulizer and runs on batteries or a car cigarette lighter (DC power) rather than plugging a cord into an electrical outlet. A portable nebulizer is convenient for travel, but it is usually less powerful than a regular nebulizer traveling with asthma, so treatments may take longer. And some portable nebulizer do not put out the proper medicine-particle-size mist. (Only certain size particles can go down into the small airways.)
Another consideration is the fact that many health insurers will not cover the cost of a second nebulizer, let alone a portable one that is more expensive. If you decide to get one, you may have to pay for it out-of-pocket. Another option you might want to discuss with your child’s physician or nurse practitioner is switching from a nebulizer to MDIs with a spacer, as long as the medicine your child takes is available in that form and you learn how to use the device properly ahead Traveling with asthma of time. These devices can be used successfully even in infants, as long as they’re used with a face mask.
If you bring a nebulizer on a plane trip, you will probably need to check it with luggage rather than carry it on board with you. Since luggage is sometimes lost, it is a good idea to identify an equipment company near your destination that will rent a nebulizer for the length of your stay just in case of Traveling with asthma.
Special considerations for flying
Traveling with asthma two special circumstances apply to airplane travel and asthma. First, air inside a plane cabin is recycled. Second, air in a plane is thinner, or has less oxygen. If your child’s asthma is not under control before getting on the plane, your child may have increased symptoms. Consider postponing travel if your child is having a difficult-to-control flare. Planes are diverted to the nearest airport only in a life-or-death medical emergency, but otherwise they continue to the planned destination. If your child has a flare that becomes worse on board, the flight will seem painfully long for everyone involved. The best advice is to get your child’s flare under control before you fly.
Traveling with asthma International travel makes planning even more complicated. These trips absolutely require that all medicines be properly labeled. Make sure that you take along enough medicine to last the entire trip because the exact same medicine may not be available in the country you’re visiting. You should also keep a copy of your child’s asthma management plan with the medicine.
Plug adapters may also be needed if you are going to use a nebulizer because electrical outlets abroad may differ from those in the United States. Adapters for different countries are available where luggage is sold while Traveling with asthma. If you’re visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, make sure that you identify hospitals in advance.
Traveling with asthma and its treatment should not be any more burdensome while traveling than it is at home if you use common sense, plan ahead, and prepare to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Good Luck!