What is asthma? Asthma is a condition that make it hard to breathe, but it doesn’t always cause symptoms. Anyway a child with an asthma attack can be in big trouble.
Asthma attacks can happen when the airways become narrow and inflamed. Asthma can be familiar.
- Wheezing or noisy breathing
- Coughing, at night, or early morning, or when you exercise
- A tight feeling in the chest
- Trouble breathing
Symptoms can recur daily, weekly or less often and can range from mild to severe.
There is a breathing test, that most children aged 6 years or older can do, that make us see how the lungs are working. It is very useful but can be normal in children with asthma if they have not symptoms at the time of the test.
They are even important the exam and the story
- What symptoms does your child have?
- How often
- Do the symptoms wake him or her at night?
- Do the symptoms keep your child away from playing or going to school?
- Do the symptoms begin with a cold or with exercising?
- Do the symptoms improve with medicines or resting?
How is asthma treated?
We can treat asthma with quick relief or long term controller medicines.
The first ones (quick relief medicines) are used for the asthma attacks. They can stop symptoms quickly and should be used once in a while. If your child needs these medicines more than twice a week and if they do not work during an asthma attack call your doctor. After taking these medicines some children get very active.
The second ones (long term medicines) must be taken every day for long periods to control asthma and prevent future symptoms, and are necessary for children who have frequent symptoms or severe episodes of wheezing.
Almost all children with asthma use an inhaler with a device called “spacer”, or a nebulizer to breathe in their medicine.
It is very important that you give your child all the medicines because to leave an asthma attack untreated or not prevented may have big risks. If asthma is not treated in the right way it can keep children from doing normal activities like sports, miss school, and damage the lungs.
Asthma action plan
It is important, in the case of asthma, to make an asthma plan, and to have and know how to use a peak flow meter.
Does the child need to see a doctor?
Call a doctor if your child with an asthma attack doesn’t improve or get worse after using a quick relief medicine
How can you prevent asthma symptoms?
You can prevent asthma symptoms in two ways: giving your child the medicines the doctor prescribes or keeping him or her away from things that cause or make the symptoms worse (triggers). Common triggers are:
- A cold or a flu
- Allergens like dust mites, molds, furry animals, pollens
- Cigarette smoke
- Cold air
In the case of asthma following exercise your child can take extra quick relief drugs before exercising