How To Manage Children’s Asthma in 7 Steps

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There is no more common long-term children’s disorder than Asthma. 9,000,000 children are said to have asthma every single year in America alone. In Europe, almost 10% of children have symptoms of asthma. There are ways to help manage and control these symptoms but many parents and children have never even learned them.

When a parent begins to wonder if their child is suffering from asthma, they need to get a professional diagnosis. It’s not always childhood asthma. Many times a child can be coughing and have trouble breathing because of something other than asthma. Many times that children below 5 are suspected of having asthma, they just end up having an infection within the airways. Whatever the reason for the challenges with breathing, it’s always a good idea to have a professional opinion.

Children are most likely to begin to suffer from child asthma before they turn 5. Children that live in cities are significantly more likely to suffer from asthma. Children in rural areas have a lower likelihood of asthma. Children in the city may be more likely to suffer from asthma if they’re used to a rural environment. Children from the city often have more problems with cockroach allergies than dust mite or pet allergies. That means that it’s essential to keep the environment your child lives in clean and cockroach free. The most cockroach allergens can be found in high rise buildings.

Exposure to different forms of smoke can also lead to children getting asthma. There was a study done in Norway that suggested 10% of adults that have asthma had grown up around smoke in their environment. That means that another important factor to consider is how often your child is around tobacco smoke.

A doctor may encourage medication for the child in asthma management. The parent needs to make sure that the child follows through. In fact, asthma is one of the most common reasons children head to the emergency room. There have been a number of studies that suggest 50% of these visits are preventable following a few steps. Children need to take their medication right, avoid triggers, and get a regular checkup.

There are a number of reasons that children might be hesitant to take medication. They may be scared of the side effects or dependency. Other times children could be afraid of what their friends might think when they take them. Children and parents often get lulled into a sense of security if their child’s symptoms aren’t regularly showing up. That can give them the mistaken impression that the child is okay without medication. Even if there is no obvious symptom, the lungs may have some inflammation.

There is a common belief that asthma may be hereditary. It typically shows up in families with asthma or allergy problems in the past. Oftentimes people believe that it’s something that someone is born with but the environment a child grows up in does effect their chances of getting it. Many studies have suggested that children that get regular exposure to allergens within the first 6 months may be decrease problems in the future but later in life it’s been shown to increase the chances. It’s also been shown that children with siblings are less likely to get asthma.

Children are at more risk of allergies and viral problems when compared to grown ups. One of the most important parts of managing asthma is teaching your child to find and avoid their own most common triggers. One rather common cause for problems is ibuprofen. Over one hundred thousand children can have asthma problems when taking this particular drug.

During summer, children are much more likely to be in the outdoors. That means that pollen and ozone may cause problems for your child’s asthma symptoms. Another common cause of symptoms is strenuous activity. Children need to be confident in taking their medication when they need to take it. They should also cool down and warm up around times of physical activity.

Children that are going to a sleep away camp during summer vacation need to understand their asthma and what to do. Parents also need to inform the people in charge of the camp about what needs to be done as well. Many camps around north America focus on activities for children suffering from asthma.

Make sure that your plan for treating different situations is in writing. Make it clear what medications need to be taken in every situation. It’s not always easy to handle the precise details during a time of turmoil. Having it in writing can make it significantly easier to follow through on.

It’s essential that every one stays as relaxed as possible while asthma attacks are taking place. When people panic it can just make the situation much worse. While parents may want to hold their child, it’s best to give the child’s chest room to breath.

When a child is diagnosed with asthma the school that they go to needs to be told. Many schools will help the child take their medicine for their asthma. Others will allow the child to take the medications themselves under certain circumstances.

While considering school there is often one cause of asthma symptoms that gets ignored. Children that are exposed to school bus pollution are receiving 5x to 15x the amount of pollution as the outside. Buses are a major source of pollution that your child could be being exposed to every day. Only recently has New Jersey even created a law forcing the improvement of bus emissions. What about your state?

When a doctor comes back with a diagnosis of asthma you need to keep yourself informed. The best way to manage child asthma is with the right information and education. You need to understand how to keep track of your child’s systems. Then you have to learn to improve it. That includes how to ensure they are properly educated. That also means you need to find out what causes their asthma symptoms and do everything to prevent future attacks.

While asthma is popular, there are still a lot of stories about it that just aren’t true. There is a common belief that 7 years can improve childhood asthma. Some people even suggest it can go away completely.  The majority of the changes that may occur have to do with hormonal changes within the body’s immune system. Asthma does not go away and it can often lead to a lifetime of lung problems when not properly treated.

Image Credits: Flickr

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