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Cold and flu trigger asthma attacks

Cold and flu trigger asthma attacks

Know the facts

  • Upper respiratory infections (colds) and influenza (flu) are viruses that affect the airways in the lungs.
  • Children in school or daycare are at a higher risk of getting more colds and the flu.
  • If your child starts with a cold or the flu, make sure to follow the asthma action plan created with your doctor.

Protect against the cold and flu

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Teach children to cough and sneeze into their elbow, not their hands.
  • Get a yearly flu shot.
  • The best time of year for your child to get the flu shot is October or November, but you can still get it later in the year since flu season can often last as late as May.
  • The flu shot starts to prevent the flu virus within two weeks of getting the shot. It cannot cause the flu.
  • The worst side effect your child is likely to get from the flu shot is tenderness near the site of the shot or minor aches.

Prevent asthma attacks when you have a cold

  • Take your asthma control medication daily — even when you are not sick. This is the single most important step you can take to prevent a severe asthma attack!
  • Call the clinic if your child has needed their Albuterol several times in a 24-hour period. The clinic might want to see your child, give you special instructions, or call in a prescription.

Meet the team

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Kathleen Bowden, MSW, AE-C
Kathleen Bowden MSW, AE-C Pulmonary medicine
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Ginger A Mary, DNP, CPNP-PC, AE-C
Ginger Mary DNP, CPNP-PC, AE-C Pulmonary medicine
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Michael S Schechter, MD, MPH
Michael Schechter MD, MPH Pulmonary medicine
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