Asthma is recognized as one of the leading chronic disorders in childhood, affecting almost 7 million kids in the United States alone. Despite this, a lot of parents remain uneducated or misinformed about what exactly makes it a serious condition. And for parents of kids with asthma, proper education on the disease is imperative to avoid situations that may require emergency care or cause life-threatening complications.
Asthma is incurable, but there are a lot of ways to manage it. Find out what you need to know about asthma and how to prevent its attacks with this step by step guide created by FilterBuy.com.
Asthma is more common in the United States than you might think
Around 1 to 2 in every 10 kids (approximately 14%) have been told that they have asthma. The thing is, with this condition being incurable, the children who are part of the 14% will grow up and add to the already growing number of teens and adults living with asthma. It is more common than one might think.
Health concerns with asthma
Every year, around 10.5 million school days are missed because of asthma and its complications. In 2010 alone, the number of emergency room cases by children complaining of asthma-related problems added up to a staggering 640,000 visits. These are certainly legitimate health concerns, especially when you factor in that over 150 kids die every year from asthma.
5 Steps to Act Against Your Child’s Asthma
Step 1: Increase your asthma awareness
Asthma causes the airways to become narrow and then start to swell, causing inflammation. Additionally, this causes extra mucus to be produced. The inflammation of the airways plus the excessive mucus causes difficulty in breathing, which makes the asthmatic person start to wheeze, cough, and experience shortness of breath.
Males are generally more at risk for being affected by asthma. Genetics also play a huge role in determining the risk factor for this condition, as does the existence of allergies, and respiratory infections. Being constantly exposed to a polluted environment can also increase the risk for asthma.
Step 2: Know the triggers and how to avoid them
Cigarette smoke and pollution can magnify the symptoms of asthma, as will allergens such as pollen and dust. The dander of pets can also trigger symptoms, and this is why a lot of people with asthma opt not to bring in pets into their homes. Having an upper respiratory infection can also cause asthma symptoms.
Excessive physical activity can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, so exercise should be done under the doctor’s recommendation. Symptoms are more common in cold weather, and excessive emotional outburst like crying or yelling can trigger them even more.
Step 3: Manage asthma symptoms
Take your child to the doctor as soon as asthma symptoms are noticed. Early treatment can avoid trips to the emergency room and missed workdays for parents.
What Asthma Medications Do Doctors Prescribe?
At times called “rescue” medication, quick relief meds are given to provide fast relief from asthma symptoms. The relief is short-term, though, but they work in a similar way as first-aid medications. They mostly come in inhaler form.
The goal of long-term control is to prevent symptoms from coming up, as well as to avoid asthma attacks which can be deadly. This typically involves the intake of daily medication through oral, inhaled, or intravenous methods.
When to call 911?
Asthma causes the airways to get inflamed, which makes breathing difficult. When the child afflicted with asthma starts gasping for air, or has trouble speaking, it’s time to call 911.
Step 4: Prevent Asthma Attacks
Prevention is always far better than cure, and in asthma, there are ways to prevent attacks from occurring. The focus should be on eliminated the triggers that could cause asthma symptoms to show, and this includes minimizing dust, reducing pet dander, avoiding pollen and mold growth, eliminating smoking, and ensuring that the child stays healthy. Changing air filters regularly is one way to avoid these dangers. Parents should also coordinate with the teachers at school about the child’s condition so they can take necessary measures in keeping the environment at school safe for children with asthma.
Step 5: Help your child stay healthy
Asthma can be deadly when not properly controlled, but it can certainly be managed. Preparing an Asthma Action Plan on top of the careful monitoring of the child’s asthma symptoms can help a lot in disease management. By keeping the child healthy and fit, asthma complications and attacks can be prevented.
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