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Asthma In Children

Helping Your Child Manage Asthma

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 17:30

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Parents should make sure that the child plays an important part in managing his or her own asthma.

For example:

  • Small children (even 6- and 7-year olds) should know the names of the their medications, and how the medicine helps.
  • All children over the age of 4 or 5 should know what triggers their attacks, so they can avoid those triggers.
  • All children over the age of 4 or 5 should understand what their symptoms mean. They should know when they need to take their medication if an attack is coming.
  • Older children should be responsible for taking their medicine at the right time.

Need To Know

It is important that your child develop self-confidence about his or her ability to manage asthma and learn to communicate to parents and others when asthma symptoms are occurring.

Working Out A Plan

To successfully help manage your child's asthma you, your child and the doctor should work out a written plan of action:

  • Identify the triggers responsible for your child's asthma. Know how to avoid them.
  • Know what medication needs to be taken, even when there are no symptoms.
  • Know how to recognize the earliest warning signs of an asthma episode and what to do about it.
  • Know how to use a peak flow meter to predict when an asthma attack may occur.
  • To determine how well the medication is working.
  • Know what to do in emergencies.
  • Know when to contact your doctor.
  • Find out about asthma support groups and summer asthma camp (see Additional Sources Of Information).

Both you and your child should become familiar with this plan.

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