Putting It All Together: Asthma In ChildrenFriday, March 16, 2012 - 17:24
Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to asthma in children.
Here is what you can do to make your child's asthma easier to manage:
- Keep lines of communication open between you and the doctor, you and the child, and the doctor and the child.
- Have a written plan that says how you should manage everyday asthma, and what you should do in emergencies.
- Be confident in your ability to carry out these instructions.
- If you are ever confused or have questions, ask the doctor.
- Make sure you (and your child) understand the different medications and what they do.
- Make sure you (and your child) know how to properly use equipment such as inhalers and the
peak flow meter. You should be able to help your child with these devices.
- Help your child understand what the treatment does. Even young children should learn what triggers to avoid and what to do in emergencies.
- As children get older, have them manage their own asthma more and more.
- Make sure that everyone in the house knows what to do if the child has a serious attack.
- Have clear guidelines as to when to call the doctor or go to the emergency department. This will prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital.
Most important is teaching the child to understand all aspects of his or her treatment program as soon as age and ability permit. This, of course, is a gradual process, but it should also be a daily one, particularly when attacks are frequent or severe, or when triggers are hard to avoid.
If you and your child both work closely with the health team and learn to manage asthma, you can expect your child to enjoy a trouble-free and fully active life.
More children will "outgrow" asthma and will greatly improve by the time they reach their teens. Some will experience symptoms of asthma in adulthood.
The better you and your child understand its symptoms and causes the better your chances of managing it, and the less the risk of problems later in life.