Asthma is a respiratory condition that is incurable but completely manageable. If your child has asthma, it’s important to understand your child’s condition and how you can help manage it. Here are a few things parents need to know about kids with asthma.
One of the most common signs that your child may have asthma is night-time coughing. Diagnosing asthma in children under five can be difficult, but if you notice your child has night-time coughing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, asthma may be the cause. Consult your pediatrician if you notice any of these signs in your child. If your child already has been diagnosed with asthma, coughing can help you detect a possible flare-up. And since asthma flare-ups don’t always go from zero to maximum symptoms in a matter of minutes, you can manage your child’s condition before a full-on attack is underway.
Triggers are all around and it’s important that you and your child know about them. Whether it’s snuggling with your kitten to the weekly vacuuming — there is a huge variety of seemingly innocuous activities that can trigger a child’s asthma attack. And since no two kids are the same, triggers are different vary per patient. It’s important to understand what your child’s triggers are so that you can manage them to prevent future flare-ups. Keep in mind that one person can have multiple triggers and that triggers can change or develop over time. Consider keeping a journal with details on when flare-ups happen, what your child was doing at the time, and where they were. Discuss these incidents with your child’s doctor to provide awareness of any new developments. An important aspect of understanding and managing triggers is to educate your child to recognize and be wary of his or her triggers, as well. You cannot be around your child all the time, so the more educated your child is about his or her condition, the safer he or she will be. Communication is key. Educating teachers, caregivers, school nurses, grandparents and other adults such as coaches or scoutmasters about your child’s condition could prevent triggers from happening.
Types of Medications
Asthma medications are classified into two categories: controlling medicines and rescue medicines.
- Controlling medications are taken at regular intervals so that symptoms can be managed. These medications help prevent an asthma attack from happening in the first place and usually are taken on a daily basis, even when no flare-ups are in sight. These medications may include nasal sprays, weekly allergy shots, disc inhalers, and prescription-strength antihistamines.
- Rescue medicines are used during a flare-up or during an attack as it happens. The types of medications necessary for your child’s treatment depend on the specific condition but usually include a rescue inhaler and oftentimes nebulizers. It’s important to fully understand how your child’s asthma medication works. Additionally, make sure that medications are available wherever your child goes – including school and extracurricular activity locations. Children, as well as parents and caregivers, should always have these medications on their person or in immediate reach.
Living with Asthma
Most children are stubborn, and that goes for kids with asthma. Because they don’t want to sit on the sidelines or miss out on opportunities, they will learn to self-manage their asthma as they mature. For kids with asthma, earning that Varsity letter or camping with their friends is nothing but a challenge to be overcome. If your child has asthma, you can help them learn to manage beginning at an early age. Help them understand their triggers and how to manage expectations by being positive and supportive. Kids don’t like to take no for an answer, and kids with asthma more often than not will work doubly hard to achieve their goals.
Your family’s allergist is your partner in managing and treating asthma. If you live in the Tampa area, breathe easy! The experts at Allergy Tampa can help you understand asthma, medications, and other methods of managing your loved one’s condition. Call 813-971-9743 today to make an appointment.