The holiday season is a time to unwind but the National Asthma Council Australia is warning parents of kids with asthma not to relax routines.

The holidays means change – in school routines, family behaviour and environment, and this means parents of children with asthma need to be especially careful to keep up medication.

“With many families going away on holidays at this time of the year, it’s easy for normal medicine routines to get disrupted,” says National Asthma Council Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristine Whorlow. “It’s important for parents to plan ahead to ensure puffers or other medicines are taken, even when on the road or rushing off to visit friends and relatives.”

The change of environment while away from home can also trigger asthma symptoms in children. “As well as packing your child’s usual medicines, also think about what other problems you might encounter while travelling with allergies,” says Whorlow. “It might be a good idea to take your child’s hay fever tablets or nasal spray too.”

Help to keep your children’s asthma symptoms at bay with these tips from the National Asthma Council Australia:

Check-up before you check-in

Make sure your child’s asthma is going as well as possible before you leave. Your child doesn’t need to be sick to have an asthma check-up with your doctor, and it’s a good opportunity to get an up-to-date copy of their prescription.

Plan what to pack

Try to bring with you all the medication your child will need while you’re away, as well as some extra. Getting a new prescription filled at your destination could be difficult or time-consuming.

Don’t let the asthma routine slip

Keeping up your child’s medicine routine is really important, even on holidays. Don’t forget to take the preventer inhaler as normal, even when heading off to the beach or a day out.

Keep your child’s reliever handy

A reliever puffer can’t help if it’s in a suitcase at the bottom of the car boot or even in the hold of the plane. Make sure your child’s reliever puffer is in easy reach while travelling and also while you’re out enjoying your holiday.

Look after your child’s puffer

Puffers work best below 25 degrees, so look after them in the hot weather. Avoid keeping your child’s puffer on the windowsill, in the glove box or out in the sun.

Have an action plan

Consult with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan so you know what to do when asthma symptoms worsen. The asthma action plan can also be stored on your smartphone and easily accessed from anywhere via the Asthma Buddy iPhone and Android app.

Check your insurance

Check that any travel medical insurance you take out will cover your child’s asthma, usually under ‘pre-existing conditions’. Policies vary, so it’s best to contact your travel agent for advice.

Taking simple precautions can reduce symptoms – so be prepared and make the most of your holiday!