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Traveling with Asthma during the Holidays

Posted on December 18, 2013
by Susana Escamilla

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(image source:kidshealth.org)

Traveling season will be very busy this holiday according to travel exports. We might read and research on traveling tips but if we have someone who is traveling with asthma or you might have a loved one who has asthma, the American Lung Association gives some tips on “Surviving the Holidays” during this holiday season.The American Lung Association gives several tips and helpful resources to prepare and help those with asthma in control. The first resource that is provided is a checklist. This checklist will give you a list of important things to have with you when you are traveling. To download and print the checklist you may access it by clicking here. In the checklist, a Asthma Travel Pack is recommended. An Asthma Travel Pack may include a list of your medications, dosage information and doctors phone numbers. In addition, packing any hand held devices such as a spacer, chamber, or peak flow meter with you while traveling can be part of your traveling must haves.

While traveling the most asked question is where one would be staying. Whether you are staying in a hotel, cabin or at a family member’s home, the air quality in several environments might not be the best. The American Lung Association gives some tips on how you can feel comfortable where ever you might be lodging:

  • Request a Smoke-Free Environment: Choose a hotel that is completely smoke-free. Cigarette and cigar smoke can travel through the heating and cooling systems into your room. If a smoke-free hotel is not available, stay in a non-smoking room on a non-smoking floor. If you are staying with family or friends, ask to stay with those who don’t smoke. If residents do smoke, ask them to smoke outside.
  • Reduce Allergens: Some hotels now offer rooms that minimize allergens. They may be furnished with hardwood floors instead of carpet, have shades instead of fabric drapes, and use hypoallergenic linens.
  • Go Fragrance Free: If strong odors trigger your asthma, ask for a hotel room without scented soaps, lotions or cleaning products. If you are a houseguest, ask your host not to burn candles or incense, or use air fresheners.
  • Staying Warm: Gathering around the fireplace or warming your home with wood-burning stoves are part of the season, but their smoke can trigger an asthma episode. Kerosene and gas space heaters can also worsen asthma symptoms.
  • Reduce Exposure to Pets: If pet dander is a trigger, ask for a hotel room that has not housed pets. If those hosting you have pets, ask that the pet stay out of the room you are staying in to reduce your exposure. Wash your hands after touching the pet to remove any dander.
  • BYOB – Bring Your Own Bedding: If you use a special pillowcase or mattress covers to reduce dust mite exposure consider bringing them with you. Hypoallergenic “sleep sacks” are designed to use when staying in hotels to protect you from allergens, and can be purchased at stores that sell bedding.
  • Watch Out for Chlorine: Swimming is great exercise, but chlorine and other chemicals found in indoor and outdoor pools can trigger asthma. Before jumping in the deep end make sure the pool area is well ventilated and doesn’t have a strong chlorine or chemical odor.

These are all great tips recommended by the American Lung Association and not only for those who have asthma but as well as for several individuals who might be traveling with family members who have respiratory problems. These are helpful tips that can make your experience travel friendly during the holidays. If you have any other traveling tips, please share by leaving a comment or by telling us through our social media sites, Facebook and Twitter.

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