Asthma Treatment for Children
Childhood asthma is a common ailment among today’s children; over 6 million kids suffer from asthma in some way, shape, or form. Since asthma can be either incredibly minor or very severe, it’s important that children who show any symptoms of asthma have a thorough examination to determine the cause of those symptoms. If a child is diagnosed with asthma, it’s important that the child and his or her parents learn about their different asthma management options and utilize their doctor’s advice in controlling the symptoms. Although there is no confirmed cure for child asthma, there are various treatment options and asthma medications for children that can help them manage their symptoms and live a normal life even with asthma, and our doctors at NCHS can inform parents and children of these options and help them make the best decision for them.
Symptoms of Asthma in Children
While many kids experience respiratory problems at some point in their lives, minor respiratory illnesses are not the same as asthma and they cannot be treated in the same way. Since many of the symptoms of child asthma can occur without an asthma diagnosis, it’s important to look further into the overall health and respiratory function of the child to determine the cause of the problems.
If your child has any of the following symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with NCHS to further explore the cause.
- Frequent coughing
- Regular wheezing or whistling when breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or recurring congestion
- Chest pain
- Heavy, uncontrolled breathing during or after active play
If any of these symptoms occur at night or during or after a sports activity or other active event, child asthma could definitely be the culprit. Additionally, if these symptoms seem worse after or during a respiratory infection (such as the flu, a cold, bronchitis, etc.) or if your child seems to take longer than normal to recover from one of these illnesses, asthma may be to blame.
Once you have confirmed an asthma diagnosis, your doctor will likely work with you to determine triggers for your child’s asthma. These are simply things or events that may make breathing harder or that may bring about a full-blown asthma attack. Some kids have only one or two triggers, while other children may have multiple, and each trigger may affect your child in a different way.
Here are some triggers to look out for:
- Sicknesses, like the cold or bronchitis
- Air pollutants, like smoke
- Allergens, like pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust
- Physical activity, such as running
- Emotional reactions, like crying, yelling, or laughing
- Weather changes
Dangers of Asthma
Since asthma deals primarily with respiratory function and directly affects breathing, it can be incredibly dangerous if not managed properly or if an asthma attack occurs without prompt action being taken to resolve it. Asthma in children can be especially scary because they don’t always understand what is happening when they have an asthma attack, and they may not be able to explain to you how they feel or that one is coming on.
Thousands of children are hospitalized due to asthma each year, and some even die from it. This is why it is so important to schedule an appointment with your care provider if you even remotely suspect that your child has asthma. Children can’t always explain how they feel or what is going on in their bodies, so it’s very important for parents to be attentive to the symptoms of child asthma in their kids.
Another way of keeping your child safe from the dangers of asthma is to know the risk factors. While these are not going to absolutely determine if your child will or won’t have asthma, they’re a good baseline to start with and they can help you identify certain problem areas.
Here are the main risk factors for child asthma:
- A family history of asthma, allergies, and similar conditions
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Living in an area with high air pollution
- Chronic respiratory issues
- Being overweight or obese
- Previous allergic reactions (skin, food, or seasonal)
- Having heartburn
If you can minimize the controllable risks, your child will have a healthier life, even if they do end up with an asthma diagnosis since many of these risks are also triggers.
Asthma Treatment at NCHS
The goal for any asthma sufferer is to keep symptoms well-maintained. This means that asthma attacks are minimal in both frequency and severity, there are no limitations on physical activity, symptoms are infrequent or completely gone, and the child rarely (if ever) uses a rescue inhaler.
Asthma medications for children typically consist of inhalers and some oral medications. Oftentimes, doctors will recommend a few combination asthma medications for children so that they can determine which is the most effective treatment for that particular child and their severity of asthma. Additionally, some children may only need a rescue inhaler for occasional episodes while others need daily pills, regular breathing treatments, and rescue inhalers.
Whatever the case may be for your situation, asthma in children can be well-controlled and well-managed, and your child can maintain a normal and healthy life even with asthma. Children and parents alike rave about NCHS’s child asthma doctors, and we encourage every person who suspects that a loved one has asthma to make an appointment today. We will work side by side with you and your child to ensure you get the best care and treatment for child asthma.