mother and girlBecause asthma is the most common chronic illness among children it’s important to understand managing childhood asthma. Upon this discovery many parents have a limited understanding of the disease and its treatment, which is the exact information parents need to know and utilize to keep their child healthy.

Disease Overview

For starters, asthma is an illness that makes breathing difficult because of temporary inflammation of the air passages. This results in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness (WebMD, n.d.). When symptoms are severe, it is called an asthma attack. These attacks can become severe enough to warrant a hospital visit and in extreme cases results in death. Because these attacks can come on suddenly, controlling the illness can keep individuals from experiencing a dangerous asthma attack

Identifying and Limiting Triggers

According to KidsHealth, this illness can result from a few causes, known as triggers: allergies, colds/repertory virus, and environment triggers. The website further explains that identifying and reducing exposure to a known trigger is the key to controlling asthma.

family walking along beachLuckily, parents are not alone in finding and controlling the known trigger. According to KidsHealth, doctors will often have patients keep a diary that includes times and potential causes for the asthma symptoms. Once the needed data is collected, the doctor will use the diary to determine the trigger. Doctors will also help the patient and parents determine necessary steps to control asthma. This information is included in an action plan KidsHealth suggests having a copy of the plan in each location where your child spends a large amount of time (i.e. home, school, etc.)

If your child has asthma and you have not received support in finding and controlling triggers from a doctor, it is worth the effort to request this assistance from your child’s doctor. After all, it will help keep your child healthy.

Medication

There are over-the-counter medicines that we can choose to take or not to take, but prescription medications for a chronic illness are prescribed out of necessity. For your child to control their asthma, they need to take the dosage as prescribed by the pharmacist.

In addition to taking the prescribed medication, it is also important to take the medicine correctly. Even if the prescribed dosage is being taken, failure to take the medicine in the correct manner can result in the medicine not working properly. The following are common ways that asthma medications are administered and the right way to take each of the medications: 

162265724_XSNebulizer: Turn on machine. Put on face mask. Breath in the medicine slowly.

Dry Powder Inhale: Press the release button and breath deeply.

Meter- Dosed Inhaler: This type of medicine works like a spray, push the lever on inhaler and breath in.

Anti-Inflammatory Pill: Steroid pill taken orally with water.

As you help your child control their asthma remember that reducing triggers and properly taking medication are two keys to controlling your child’s asthma. KidsHealth says that if these two steps are taken most children with asthma can enjoy a normal life with minimal asthma-related complications.

Disclaimer: Stance on the Family is not a medical source. Stance advises those with asthma and their families to talk with a doctor if experiencing any difficulty with managing asthma.  

Written by Laura Fillmore