Winter usually ushers in plenty of exciting outdoor activities for kids, like sledding and snowball fights. It’s a lot of fun, but the chilly air can be tough on kids with asthma.
“The cold, dry air of winter can really irritate a child’s asthma,” says Amy Burack, RN, MA, AE-C, program manager of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Community Asthma Programs, a division of the hospital’s Community Asthma Initiative (CAI).
And when asthma symptoms flair, it leads to more than discomfort. For many children, it can lead to a trip to the Emergency Department or worse, hospitalization. Asthma continues to be the leading admitting diagnosis at Children’s Hospital Boston.
To counteract those numbers Burack and her colleagues at the CAI have worked hard with families in local communities to help educate people about how to better manage their kids’ asthma. In five years the Initiative has successfully contributed to cost savings by reducing Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations and improved quality of life through a reduction in lost school days for children and missed work days for caregivers.