Summer Travels - For Those With Asthma June 14 2017

School's OUT and it's time to hit the road! But if you suffer from asthma, or if your children do - be sure you're prepared for summer travel with these three tips!

First, make sure you have all your medications and tools or supplies ready. Have prescriptions filled and an extra in the hopper should you run out. If your medications are filled at a nationwide chain like CVS or Walgreens, then if you get in an emergency, they should be able to cross reference your local order and supply you if you are in a situation of need. But it's best to just travel with plenty of medication. Don't leave if you only have two puffs left in your puffer! Not sure? Take an extra. Don't think you'll need your nebulizer and mask? Take it anyway. Asthma is not something to take chances with. And don't forget your peak-flow meter if that's something your doctor has asked you to keep with you. Serious flare-ups of asthma often require a measurement of how you're doing.

Second, know where you are going! Are you going to a region with higher allergens or plants, trees, or situations that are triggers for your asthma? Do the folks you'll be visiting with smoke?  Will there be food that you are allergic to? Know what you'll be doing and plan accordingly in case you might come face to face with something that will trigger an asthma attack. And while you're at it - are you aware of the medical facilities available where you are going? Is there an emergency clinic or hospital nearby? Just knowing ahead of time is a great way to be prepared.

Most importantly, if you have asthma, you should have an "asthma action plan" - the AAFA provides a great form that is so helpful. Should you get in an emergency situation where a stranger or caregiver needs to know what your treatment options are - this is a great way to communicate this information. This is also a requirement at schools for children with asthma, and many times, diagnosing or prescribing doctors will provide this for children with asthma, so when to administer their rescue medication and other parts of their asthma treatment plan is clear.