Asthma is the most common chronic (long-term) childhood disease. In America, about nine million children are diagnosed with asthma. Up to ten percent of children in Europe are also suffering from asthma symptoms. Unfortunately parents of these kids are often uninformed about the various ways to control childhood asthma.
If you suspect your child has asthma the initial priority is correct diagnosis. However, bear in mind that symptoms may differ from episode to episode and not all wheezing and coughing is caused by asthma. However if your child is experiencing breathing problems it’s ideal to get them to your doctor whatever the cause.
About eighty percent of children who develop asthma do this before the age of five. Studies show that children living in rural areas have lower rates of asthma than those who live in cities, particularly if they spent their first five years in a rural location. For children living in inner cities, the cockroach allergen appears to worsen asthma symptoms more than dust mite or pet allergens. Another important step in the control of your child’s asthma is to make sure that general upkeep and cleaning routines are followed to ensure cockroaches aren’t encouraged into the home. Levels of cockroach allergens have been found to be highest in high-rise apartments.
Another element that has been linked to the development of asthma in children is exposure to smoke. A study in Norway showed that almost ten per cent of adult asthma patients had experienced passive smoking during early childhood. Therefore another step to take at home is to ensure your child is not exposed to tobacco smoke.
If your doctor recommends using medication, the next step is to encourage your child to take the medication. Asthma is one of the main causes for emergency room visits by children. Yet studies have shown that up to half of these hospitalizations may be preventable if children, particularly teenagers, followed their medication schedule properly, prevented their asthma triggers and made regular visits to the physician.
Perhaps fear of side effects or addiction, or an impression that it’s uncool to be seen taking drugs is preventing children taking their medication as regularly as they should. Perhaps intermittent asthma symptoms convince kids and their parents that it is not important to take medicine if there are no signs. Even when there are no obvious symptoms, an asthmatic’s lungs will be inflamed to a degree.
How the condition appears to run in families with a history of asthma or allergies suggests that certain people are born with a predisposition to asthma. Some may believe you’re born with the condition and there’s nothing you can do. However a child’s environment may also play an important role. Studies have found that exposure to potential allergens like pets and pollen in the first six months of life can decrease the chance of developing asthma later. However exposure beyond six months old has the opposite effect. Being born into a family that already has siblings also seems to reduce the chance of developing asthma.
It’s known that children are more vulnerable to viral and 1 possible trigger is ibuprofen, with over 100,000 kids vulnerable to asthma symptoms brought on by the medication.
Kids tend to spend more time outdoors during the summertime vacation. If pollen or high levels of ozone trigger your child’s asthma, you need to monitor these. Physical exercise is a frequent cause of childhood asthma. Teach your child to take medication if needed, and do warm up exercises before strenuous activity and wind down exercises after.
In the event your child is going away to camp throughout the holiday make sure those in charge are aware of your child’s asthma management and action plans. In the US and Canada, there are camps designed for asthma sufferers.
It is crucial to have a written action plan that clearly states what medication to take and when, as well as how to respond to asthma attack. You or your child may not recall what to do at a time when it could be difficult for them to breathe, so it is essential to have the important details in writing.
It is important your child remain calm during an attack as panic can create more breathing problems. A parent’s instinct may be to cuddle their kid, but that would constrict the torso further.
If asthma is diagnosed, your next step is to inform your child’s school. Every school needs to allow access to asthma medicine and a few allow children to carry and self-administer their asthma medicine if certain requirements are satisfied.
Whilst we are talking about schools here’s one often overlooked childhood asthma trigger. School buses are major sources of contamination, and studies show kids who ride them are subjected to five to fifteen times as much asthma triggering particulates within the trucks compared to outside. New Jersey recently passed a law requiring retrofitting of school buses and municipal vehicles to clean up tailpipe emissions. Is your state doing the same?
Bear in mind, if asthma is verified, you want to educate yourself. According to the experts knowledge is the best prescription. To halt the disease affecting your child’s life you will need to know how to track and manage asthma. This will mean knowing how to use medications correctly, whether your child’s attacks are triggered by allergens and if the best way to decrease exposure to them and the lifestyle changes that will help your child prevent attacks.
Despite being a widespread disease there are still a lot of myths about asthma. One of the most damaging of these for children is the belief that the state will improve every seven years or can even disappear completely. Regrettably, any apparent improvement is most likely due to hormonal changes as the child’s immune system matures. The underlying condition doesn’t go away and not managing it can lead to long-term lung damage.