If you live on the west coast of Florida, I don’t have to tell you about the uncomfortable symptoms associated with exposure to red tide such as itchy and burning eyes, throat irritation and nasal symptoms like congestion, sneezing and itching, and coughing, wheezing and chest tightness.

While most people will experience some degree of red-tide related discomfort, children with asthma or allergies are even more likely to experience these symptoms.  They might also have flare ups, even if their asthma had been previously well controlled.

Here’s are a few tips for minimizing the negative health implications of red tide, especially for those with asthma and other chronic respiratory problems:

  • Avoid the beach or areas with active red tides.
  • Stay in air-conditioned environments as much as possible.
  • Limit outside time.
  • Use air-conditioning and keep the windows closed when driving in your car.

If your child has asthma, Pediatricians and Pulmonologists typically provide personalized Asthma Care Plans with easy to follow guidelines for when and how to use controller and rescue medications to prevent flares and treat them when they occur.  Be sure to follow your child’s Asthma Care Plan and call your child’s physician if symptoms persist.

Weiss Pediatric Care’s state-of-the art Asthma Care Program offers spirometry (pulmonary lung function testing), personalized Asthma Care Plans, extensive asthma education designed for children and parents, and regular asthma maintenance appointments to ensure that children stay well, even during cold and flu season (and red tide blooms too!).  All the kids participating in our Asthma Care Program also receive special Weiss Pediatric Care Asthma Bags for storing medicines, devices, and educational materials.

If you have questions about how we diagnose, educate, and treat asthma in kids, be sure to give us a call.

For now, we are waiting, along with the rest of the community, for this particularly persistent and intense red tide bloom to go away so we can get back to the beach and all the outside activities we love.  Hope to see you at the beach very soon!