The development of COVID-19 has brought with it a widespread recognition of the term “social distancing.” If you or your child have asthma, social distancing is especially important for you. Why should children with asthma take extra precautions? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing is the act of intentionally and physically separating yourself from other people. In the case of COVID-19, social distancing prevents the virus from spreading through physical contact and bodily fluids.
Generally speaking, social distancing means staying home if possible. If not possible, you should maintain a minimum of 6 feet between you and anyone else. This distance reduces your odds of sharing bacteria with one another.
Is Social Distancing Important for Children with Asthma?
During COVID-19, social distancing is important for everyone. However, for children with asthma, distancing is vital. Asthmatics are considered high-risk because respiratory illnesses can trigger their asthma and, in some cases, become life-threatening.
While COVID-19 is certainly a valid concern in regards to lung health, it is not the only concern. According to the CDC, “People with asthma are at high risk of developing serious flu complications, even if their asthma is mild or their symptoms are well-controlled by medication.”
Any illness that threatens breathing or lung problems must be carefully guarded against by asthmatics.
When Should Children with Asthma Distance?
Remember, social distancing is important during the coronavirus pandemic, but that is not the “end all” for preventative measures. For children with asthma, it may be necessary to do some distancing during other seasons as well. Consider the risk of exposure to the following things:
- Flu Season
- Allergy Season
- Air Pollution
- Stressful Situations
While your child does not have to become an outcast of society, it might be a good idea to take some “distancing” precautions during these times. Proper distancing is a great way to advocate for a child with asthma.
Simple Tips for Distancing
So, you know when to distance, but how should you distance? Again, quarantining your child for the rest of their life is not practical or necessary. Instead, just use simple caution. During the coronavirus pandemic, follow state rules. The rest of time, employ these principles.
1. Avoid crowded areas during “sick seasons.”
You probably don’t need to schedule a family vacation while the flu is hard at work. If the world is a little germier than usual, be careful where you go and whom you see.
2. Wash hands regularly.
We know: you’ve heard this more times than you can count over the last month or so. Washing your hands is the most practical way to prevent respiratory diseases from entering your system through your nose, eyes, or mouth.
3. Reduce physical contact as much as possible.
Teach your child to avoid touching other people’s hands if possible. Physical contact is a need, but you can still be wise about it.
4. Keep an asthma attack action plan.
While an asthma action plan is not really a part of “distancing,” it will help you prepare for a course of action should your child get sick. Make sure you communicate with your doctor and develop a plan for handling asthma medications, symptoms, triggers, and other lung infections.