It can be scary to learn that your child has a chronic illness that they will have to live with throughout life. You might be extremely worried about what their future holds and could be quite concerned that such a health condition could hold them back in life.

One of the most common childhood conditions that quite a few kids live with these days is asthma. This is an illness that affects the lungs and is often present in a lot more children than adults. It usually develops in children while they are toddlers and they will have it throughout their childhood. Thankfully, though, it can disappear as a child enters their teenage years. However, there is no guarantee that it won’t return during adulthood.

Unfortunately, there is currently no complete cure for asthma, but it can be quite easy to manage once you know plenty about it. First of all, it’s important to know the symptoms so that you can quickly spot when your child might have developed the condition.

 

The Symptoms of Asthma

  • Wheezing while breathing.
  • A tightness in the chest.
  • Breathlessness and coughing fits.

If your child starts to show these symptoms and they gradually get worse, making it difficult for them to breath, then they are having what is known as an asthma attack. If you ever think your child is suffering from an attack, then you should call an ambulance as they will need urgent medical attention to help them breathe easily again.

Treating Asthma

Even though there isn’t a complete cure for asthma just yet, there are a few treatments that can help your child manage their symptoms. They can even relieve asthma attacks. The main management treatments for asthma are listed below.

  • Preventer Inhalers – The main way to manage asthma is with an inhaler. When your child receives their diagnosis, your doctor should prescribe them two kinds. The main one is a preventer inhaler. Your child will need to use this every day to prevent the symptoms from coming on.
  • Reliever Inhalers – As well as their preventer inhaler, your child will also be given a reliever inhaler. They need to use this if they ever start to feel any of the main symptoms developing. After a couple of puffs on the inhaler, your child should, hopefully, start to feel the effects of their symptoms reduce. However, this doesn’t always happen. If your child doesn’t experience any change in their symptoms after using this inhaler, then you will need to take them to a hospital for medical attention.
  • Tablets – There are also some people who need to take daily tablets to control their asthma. However, this is very rare and your child will likely only need their inhalers.

Managing Asthma

When your child is diagnosed with asthma, it is critical that you know how to manage it. Of course, using their inhalers correctly will work wonders and help to alleviate their symptoms, but there are also a few other things you can do. Read on to find out more!

Create An Asthma Plan

Once you know that your child has asthma, it is really important that you create an asthma action plan. In some cases, your doctor may even give you one once they have their diagnosis. The plan should just be made up of written instructions that you can refer to whenever you notice the early warning signs of an asthma attack. There should be steps referring to each kind of medicine that your child has and how and when to use it. There will also be lots of tips that can help you with managing your child’s asthma. It’s super important to stick to this plan whenever anything happens so that your child can always receive the best form of care.

Watch Out For Triggers

There are quite a few triggers that could set off an asthma attack. Unfortunately, most of the main triggers are things that are commonly found in the home. So, you might have to always be working at minimizing the triggers that could set off an asthma attack in your child. If your child has any common allergies, such as hay fever or a dust allergy, then they will be a lot more likely to experience asthma symptoms. Because of this, it is exceptionally important that you treat their allergies and try to prevent them from flaring up.

Even if your child isn’t allergic to dust, an excessive amount of it in your home could trigger an asthma attack. So, you need to be extra careful whenever you clean your home and make sure that you try and remove as much dust and particles from the air as possible. Exercise can also trigger an asthma attack, so your child will need to take gentle exercise that doesn’t leave them too out of breath. Finally, being exposed to second-hand smoke can also trigger attacks. If anyone in your family smokes, they should always do so outside and well away from your child.

Find An Asthma Doctor

When your child has been diagnosed, you can, of course, stick with your regular family doctor. However, some parents decide to find a specialist asthma doctor to take care of their child’s asthma care. This doctor will focus mainly on asthma patients so will have plenty of experience of dealing with the condition. They will also have a good idea of all the latest developments and treatments that might be able to alleviate your child’s condition better than the traditional methods of treatments. As well as all of this, they will also be able to give you plenty of tips for managing asthma on a day to day basis.

Inform Your Child’s School

Once your child has their diagnosis, you will need to inform their school. You might want to create an asthma plan for school that you can give to your child’s teachers. If there is already a child in the class who suffers from asthma, then they should already have a plan in place. If not, you will have to create one with the teachers so that they are all better informed about the condition and what they might need to do if your child ever has an asthma attack at school. They will know which inhaler to give your child and when to call for an ambulance if things escalate.

Eliminate Any Embarrassment

Your child might feel ever so slightly embarrassed about their asthma diagnosis. This could be especially the case if it prevents them from exercising and taking part in their school’s sport lessons. They might feel different from their classmates, and could even be picked on because of their illness. So, it’s really important to try and remove any feelings of embarrassment or shame that your child experiences, or else they might try and hide any symptoms that they are feeling. You might want to have a chat with their teacher to consider how you could do this successfully.

Educate Your Child’s Other Caregivers

It is necessary for everyone who looks after your child to be well aware of their asthma and how that condition could affect the way they need to be looked after and cared for. So, you should let everyone who looks after your child, including family members, professional nannies, and other children’s parents, all about asthma. They each need to know the symptoms and how to spot a potential attack. As well as this, it is worth making them familiar with your child’s inhalers. You then don’t have to worry too much about leaving your child in someone else’s care.

Always Take Medicines As Prescribed

Whenever you are given any medicine, your doctor will advise you how it needs to be taken. It is really important that you follow these instructions to the letter. Your doctor will have given them to you for a reason, and following them will put your child in the best position for relieving their symptoms and preventing a potential asthma attack. Even if your child appears to be fit and healthy, you should still give them their preventer inhaler every day. If you don’t, then you might find that their symptoms creep back up on them without much warning.

Get Your Child Their Annual Flu Jab

Anyone who has a chronic illness will be eligible for a yearly flu jab. It is really important that you get your child this jab. All sufferers of chronic illnesses are a lot more susceptible to the flu and similar infections. Not only that, though, but contracting the flu could actually make your child’s health condition worse. They will be a lot more prone to asthma attacks while suffering from the flu. So, make sure they get their annual jab, and you, hopefully, won’t have to worry about too many asthma attacks throughout the flu season.

Hopefully, all of the advice in this blog post can help you improve the quality of life for your child. For more tips, it’s best to speak to your doctor.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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