BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - During a season of more sickness, a local pediatric pulmonologist says now is the time to make a plan for kids with asthma.

Dr. Kelly Cowan, a pediatric pulmonologist at the UVM Children’s Hospital, says just under 10 percent of Vermont’s kids have asthma, and that it’s not just one thing that causes the disease that affects the lungs, but a combination of factors including environmental triggers and respiratory viruses.

“Some of them are really pretty clear, where kids have coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, and need emergency attention. And then some can be more subtle, like if they’re having lingering illnesses, a lot of coughs, shortness of breath, exercise symptoms after-colds that it’s going on for a longer time. Some of these symptoms can be complicated with a lot of back-to-back illnesses. But for kids who do have asthma, those can be some signs that things aren’t under good control. And for kids that may be at risk of asthma or they’re not sure if it’s asthma, maybe a good time to check in about symptoms,” Dr. Cowan said.

Cowan says it’s been a tough season for parents, with a lot of respiratory illnesses and more trouble with asthma. But she calls asthma a “treatable” problem with the right plan.

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