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Help Your Asthmatic Child Stay Safe From Flu

Don’t let flu complicate your child’s asthma and endanger his or her fragile health

Breathe in, breathe out…repeat. It’s supposed to be effortless but it’s different for your child. You just know when that mild wheeze starts getting more intense, accompanied by coughing or difficulty breathing. So you immediately get the necessary medicines or rush him or her to the hospital.

You do all you can to protect him or her but when your child is not at home, he or she is exposed to various other triggers beyond your control, including the contagious flu (influenza) virus.[1] Studies have shown that when people with asthma get the flu, it sets off a chain of inflammatory reactions which can lead to an asthma attack. [2] What’s worse, your child has a higher risk of developing pneumonia after the flu compared to children without asthma. [3]

Practise these tips to guard your child’s health:

1. Give your child the influenza vaccination – It is the first and most important step in protecting against the flu[3] and reduces hospitalisation risk by 75%[4].
2. Take medicines as prescribed – These are crucial to prevent irritation in the airways and asthma flare-ups.[5]
3. Have a healthy lifestyle – Eating a balanced diet and getting sufficient sleep will support your child’s immune system.[2]

Hopefully you can now worry a little less knowing that your child is protected from within, too.

[1] WebMD. 2017. Children and the flu. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/children-and-flu-influenza#1 [Accessed Dec 5, 2017].
[2] Asthma UK. 2016. Colds and flu. https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/colds-and-flu/ [Accessed Dec 19, 2017]
[3] CDC 2017. Flu and people with asthma. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/asthma/index.htm [Accessed Dec 19, 2017]
[4] Jain et al. 2013. Vaccine for Prevention of Mild and Moderate-to-Severe Influenza in Children. N Engl J Med. 369(26): 2481-2491
[5] Kids Health. 2017. Managing Asthma. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/asthma-mgmt.html [Accessed Dec 19, 2017]