Horses and Asthma.

Horses and Asthma

Once in a while as a parent, you are happily surprised to learn that your kids actually listened to you!

One of my jobs as a mom to 3 children with allergies and asthma is to teach them how to take care of themselves. Not just do their laundry, make their beds, cook dinner, etc. But how to take care of their allergies and asthma.

When my daughter was young, she was like a lot of little girls - she loved horses. In fact, I had to decorate her room with a picket fence and horses made out of wallpaper. Her closet doors looked like barn doors, and she had horse bedding, horse bathrobe hooks, horsey back packs, etc.

I also thought it would be a great idea to find an arena where she could take riding lessons. The only problem is that she has pretty bad allergies and asthma. She took allergy medicine every day and was having allergy shots, so we were hoping that those would help her to be able to be around horses. But she was still having a tough time with horses and their dander. 

Trying to get rid of the dander

We had a routine - she would take her allergy and asthma medicine before we left, spend an hour riding, then quickly change her clothes for the car ride home. But she would still end up sneezing and wheezing. Then that would triggered an asthma attack.

As soon as we got home, she would take a shower (making sure she washed her hair really well), and change her clothes. That helped get all of the horse dander off her clothes, hair and skin.

But it was just too much. Her allergies and asthma were so bad that she had to give up riding. She quickly grew out of her horse phase since it made her so miserable.

Fast forward 10 years, and two of her best friends still love horses. One of them also has asthma, but isn't allergic to horses. Which is a good thing - since both friends work at a barn and spend their days riding and taking care of horses!

Daughter didn't think much about her friends being around horses, until they met after work for a BBQ. Daughter started sneezing and wheezing. She and her friends were smart enough to figure out that the sudden sneezing and wheezing meant Daughter had come across one of the things she was allergic to - horse dander.

The three of them also decided how to solve that problem. (See - I told you she listened to me when she was growing up!) She knew that the only way to deal with her allergies (besides taking allergy medicine and having allergy shots) was to try to avoid things she is allergic to. And one of those is horses. How could she avoid horse and horse dander? That would mean avoiding her friends. Did that mean no more BBQ's or movie nights?

Her friends decided that the next time they had a BBQ or movie night planned, they would first go home and shower and wash their hair, then change their clothes after working at the barn. That way they wouldn't be covered in horse dander.

So, they did! The next movie night at our place, her friends showed up with wet hair and clean clothes. Daughter proudly told me that they had figured out what was making her sneeze, wheeze, and need her inhaler. And her friends were kind enough to try to make things better for her.

Sometimes the world seems like a pretty great place! Daughter knew how to take care of herself, and her friends were kind enough to help her.

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