Caring Corner

What To Do If Your Child Has Asthma

Kids with asthma carry the burden of missing school days and family events whenever their asthma acts up. Here we'll show you how you can manage and minimize asthma symptoms.

Watching your kids grow and learn through their childhood is a priceless treat that you would never trade for anything else. But as countless are the times you've seen them celebrate and smile, there are also days you've watched them stumble and cry. You can never truly shield your kids from all the bad things in the world, and you can only promise to give them your best.

But if you have a kid enduring asthma symptoms, we know just how challenging it must be. However, it's a relief to know that you're not alone. Throughout the world, an estimated number of 339.4 million people are affected by this condition, with kids being 14% more likely to have asthma symptoms, according to the study by ISAAC.

Around the world, many parents share these struggles. And likewise, countless health professionals are also ready to help families navigate this condition.

Working around asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by inflamed airways that make one prone to breathing difficulties. In children, this commonly results in wheezing, coughing, and chest pains —to the distress of many parents like yourself. However, there is hope on the horizon that your kid may outgrow asthma and go on long periods without experiencing its symptoms. But if your child's condition persists into adulthood, learning helpful methods can make their routines easier by minimizing symptoms and flare-ups.

With the help of a doctor, you can breathe easy knowing that your child's welfare is in good hands. Here are some steps you can start today to make your homes asthma-prepared.

1. Visit your doctor for a diagnosis

Before making plans, get a proper diagnosis with your child's doctor. Kids under five years old are trickier to diagnose as asthma's primary symptoms may also point to other conditions. Tests for diagnosis commonly used for older individuals are not advised for children who may find it tough to follow instructions. Their doctors would also need to check their medical history and other laboratory test results.

However, suppose your child is between five to eleven years old. In that case, they can be eligible for tests that check their lung capacity, like spirometry and peak flow meters.

2. Create and follow an action plan

Once your doctor has completed their diagnosis, they'll share a written set of steps and directions called an action plan, to manage your child's asthma. Their doctor may use a color-coded system with green, yellow, and red specifying different zones. Each colored zone details what you should do when your child is responding well to treatment (green), feeling worse (yellow), or if they're having a flare-up (red).

This plan will also detail how to avoid triggers and what medicines they should take. Make sure to keep another copy of this action plan and educate other family members on what they should do if you're away.

3. Monitor & record their symptoms

For children under five years, it's vital to take notes of their symptoms and their response to treatment. These records would be supplemental for the doctor to help them determine whether they should maintain current treatments or make some adjustments. As such, it's also essential to set timely doctor appointments so that they can track your child's status and progress. Here is some vital information to record when at home:

  • Time and place of the asthma attack
  • Response to asthma treatment
  • Side effects of new medication
  • Unusual symptoms
  • Disrupted sleep cycle

4. Identify their asthma triggers

Though your home is a safe place to rest and recharge, it can easily be the opposite for people with asthma. Many potential culprits can also hide in the spaces of your home, which can lead to an asthma attack. Some common triggers to note are pollen, flu, and mold. You may also want to keep an eye out for seasonal changes as these can also make specific types of pollen more potent in the air. Knowing which particular triggers agitate your kid's asthma would greatly help keep unwanted flare-ups down to a minimum.

Identifying triggers may require some detective work. But not to worry, your doctor can also help. If you suspect that their asthma is triggered by allergies, their health care professional can conduct an allergy test to determine which allergen they're reacting to.

In some cases, engaging in physical activity can also lead to asthmatic symptoms. This condition is called exercise-induced asthma, wherein the person's airways narrow after exercise. Despite this, you shouldn't be urged to remove physical activities from their routines altogether. After all, kids need to have a regular exercise regimen. Instead, make sure to do warm-up exercises and take necessary medications beforehand to control asthma's effects.

5. Get annual flu shots

Taking care of someone with asthma means preventing situations that may cause further irritation in their sensitive airways. So aside from external factors such as smoke and allergens, you'd also want to avoid your kids catching the flu as it leads to further inflammation in the throat and lungs.

Save your kid from missed school days and schedule their flu shots annually.

But if they still develop a cough, not to worry. Just have a quick review of the doctor's action plan. It should contain the steps you may take and viable medicines to treat their cough.

For productive cough due to bronchial asthma, Ambroxol Hydrochloride can be a fine choice to hasten their recovery. Ambroxyl is a mucolytic medicine that makes it easier to expel tough mucus to ease the cough. You can find this today here at your Kapitbahay Pharmacy!

If dealing with asthma is something new to your family, please rest assured that everything will be okay as long as you stick to the doctor's orders. Though it may be challenging to put everything into mind at first, in time, these would eventually seem like second nature to you and the family. Gather the household, get informed, and make your home a safe place for kids with asthma today. — (MyPharma)

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