With the fall season comes lower humidity in the air and thus some breathing problems for many children. After all, it is the cold and asthma season. As a parent, you might be wondering if there are ways to help your child breathe better once the summer days are gone. Fortunately, there is.
Here are three ways to help your children breathe better this fall:
Try breathing exercises
Breathing might be second nature for us, but if we can hone in on the power of intentional breathing then we can actually learn to breathe better. For kids, this automatic process is not something they think about at all. Kids run about their day, literally, without giving their inhale and exhales much thought at all. However, studies have shown that teaching kids breathing exercises young can actually help them breathe better, and test better, well into their adult lives. But what exactly is a breathing exercise? Breathing exercises are different from meditation (more on that in a moment), but not that dissimilar.
Basic breathing exercises look a lot like:
- Alternate nostril breathing: This technique is as straightforward as it sounds. Inhale through one nostril while your thumb gently presses against the other to close it, so that the oxygen only flows through one nostril at a time. You can do one and one, or do counts of three or five through each nostril.
- Belly breathing: With one hand on the belly and the other on the upper chest, take deep inhales through the nose and exhales out of the mouth, paying particular attention to how the belly expands and contracts.
- Counting breaths: Have your child notice how many breaths they are taking at a time, and try to have them slow down their breathing as a way to take deeper, longer, breaths.
These breathing exercises are one way to help your child breathe better because they will become hyper aware of their own breath. With this, they will easily be able to point out good breath work from bad breath work and pinpoint to moments they might feel sick.
Start them started on meditation
While breathing exercises and meditation both include physical breath work, meditation is more focused on calming the world outside through the mind rather than being cognizant of breathing directly. Dependent on your child’s age, they may be experiencing a lot of stress that both they and yourself, as a parent, aren’t aware of:
- Social anxiety around friends
- Performance anxiety in regards to sports or club activities
- Peer pressure in groups
- Grade anxiety as a result of tests or school projects
- Body anxiety due to social media or friendships
- The stress of being back to school after an entire summer off
These reasons, along with many others, can cause your child to develop breathing problems in the fall months as a result of stress. And stress can directly impact the way they breathe, whether they realize it or not. Another way to help your child breathe better this fall, and combat the negative impact of stress at the same time, is to start your child on a meditation.
To do this, have them sit comfortably, lay down, and play relaxing music (whatever that means to them, just as long as it doesn’t have lyrics). Dependent on your child’s age, you can start with a single minute twice a day. Then, move to five minutes in one session and work your way up to 30 minutes (or more if you’d like). To have your child feel comfortable, encourage a sibling to do it with them and, of course, as a parent it’s best if you partake in the meditation with them.
Get a cool humidifier
A cool humidifier for the room can easily help your children breathe better this fall.
- Cool humidifiers work to take the dry fall air that fills your home, after a humid summer, and brings up the humidity level to one that is comfortable.
- Cool humidifiers use water, so you’ll never run out of ways to refill it
- Beyond the benefits of the actual cooling mist on the way your child breathes, the white noise is so subtle that your child will hardly notice it’s on. Yet, the subdued sound will also be subtle enough to relax them, with its whispering sounding quality.
- It shuts off automatically, so there’s no need to worry if you turned it off or not
- You can adjust just how much mist goes into the air, dependent on how dry you feel your child’s space is
- As a result of all of these features, cool humidifiers can potentially ease coughing and congestion which can prevent or reduce cold symptoms as the weather cools down.
Most work with rooms of anywhere from 200 to 500 square feet, perfect for a nursery, bedroom, or playroom. Plus, some even come with an essential oil tray that circulates the fragrant oil of your choosing through the cool mist as it disperses throughout the room. And others even have an LED night light so that your child breathes better while also feeling comforted by a nightlight as they drift off to sleep or play around in their room.
As a parent, you’re already doing an excellent job by making a proactive choice to research how to help your children breathe better this fall. Through breathing exercises, meditation, and a cool humidifier your child or children will find themselves breathing easier and better this fall season. Now they’ll have a safer, happier, and more fulfilling season ahead.