Texas Wildfires: Protecting Kids With Asthma In The Houston Area

September 8, 2011

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The air quality in Houston and surrounding counties is taking a hit from the tragic wildfires blazing throughout much of Texas. With reports of air quality problems stretching from the tri-county blaze north of Harris County all the way to west and southwest Houston, parents of children with asthma may be concerned about how this will affect their children.

As always, you first want to pay attention to your child's breathing. Obviously, if your child is having difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention.

The next thing to do is to exercise reasonable caution when there are known air quality problems. Today would be a day to plan fun indoor activities for your children, as kids with asthma should not be active outside today. Try to keep them inside and away from the smoke and/or haze as much as possible.

This may mean talking to your child's school about keeping him or her indoors today. Exempting kids with airway problems from outdoor gym or recess activities when the air quality is poor is a simple way for teachers to be proactive about protecting kids with asthma. Even when there is not visible smoke, particulates in the air can make breathing difficult for kids with asthma and related conditions.

In summary, know your child and stay tuned to air quality reports. Sensitive children in particular should refrain from vigorous activity, especially outdoors, until the air clears. Make sure to be on alert for any unusual or problematic breathing, and contact your doctor or an emergency room if you have any immediate concerns.

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