According to AAA, 48 million Americans plan to travel this Thanksgiving.  As families prepare to head home for the holidays, there’s a word of warning amid all the prep.  Don’t let the stress turn into potential forgetfulness that could negatively impact your or your loved ones’ health.

Those with chronic diseases – like asthma – will tell you just how important it is to be thorough. Follow this packing guide to breathe easier and have a happy and healthy holiday.  You’ll be thankful you did.

BJ Lanser, MD, a pediatrician and asthma specialist at National Jewish Health in Denver, says proper inhaler use can avoid unnecessary asthma attacks, emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

  • Pack plenty of medication. Seven million children are living with asthma in the United States.  For many, this medication is key to managing symptoms.  One of the top mistakes asthmatics make is using an empty inhaler.  Request a refill when the inhaler is half full to avoid running out.
  • Bring your accessories. Tools needed to administer medication, like inhaler spacers, are crucial to ensuring the medication is effective.  Poor inhaler technique fails to deliver nearly 70 to 80 percent of medications deep into the airways where they are needed most.
  • Print an instruction sheet.  Extended family may not know how to care for a child with a chronic disease.  While kids may be in the care of these loved ones during the holidays, it is important that everyone is educated.  This guide of the top 10 inhaler mistakes kids make also serves as a quick instruction sheet on how to correct them.