Asthma and Kids
If you are in the Salt Lake City Utah area and you can schedule an allergy doctor appointment or contact us with any of your allergy related questions.
Asthma in children can be easy to miss. A chronic cough may be the only symptom in some kids. Symptoms may be seasonal—due to pollens and hay fever. A smoggy day triggers some kid’s asthma. Some kids don’t show symptoms at all unless they’re sick, when an everyday cold brings on coughing or other symptoms that last for weeks.
Symptoms of Childhood Asthma can differ from adult symptoms, and may come on gradually. Yet when an asthma attack does hit, if you’re unprepared it can be fatal.
Your Child May have Asthma if he/she has one of the following symptoms
Being Little only makes it Harder
Older kids developing asthma may experience most of their symptoms at school, during gym class or at recess, when parents aren’t around. These kids may want to avoid exercise that makes them feel sick. At school, children may be afraid of being “wimpy” so they don’t complain to teachers or coaches when they can’t catch their breath. Some children may only have symptoms during pollen season—symptoms like congestion and coughing that just seem like hayfever.
Even when kids are successfully diagnosed with asthma, recent studies show that childhood asthma is likely to get out of control. A recent study showed that 4 out of 5 kids with asthma don’t manage it effectively, and their daily lives are being unnecessarily affected and controlled by asthma.
Childhood asthma rates continue to rise—now more than 6 million children in the U.S. have asthma. That’s 9% of children nationwide. Race doesn’t seem to have an affect on risk factor, though poverty and low education increase the chances that a child’s asthma will not be properly treated, or that it will lead to fatal asthma attacks.
Be particularly on the alert for asthma symptoms if your child lives in a home where there is secondhand smoke, has chronic infections, or has genetic relatives who have asthma.
Risk factors for Developing Asthma
Asthma at School and Daycare
Ask your child’s doctor to give you written instructions for dosage and frequency of medications. Give a copy of these instructions to your child’s school office, teacher(s), school nurse, and daycare providers.
If your child is not old enough to use medication alone, make sure there are teachers and nurses or other staff who can do this properly. Keep an inhaler in the child’s backpack if they will self-administer, otherwise keep one in the school office or with your child’s daycare provider.
With proper care, your child should be able to engage in the activities he/she enjoys. If you notice your child avoiding activities excessively or missing school frequency, schedule another appointment with your doctor or allergist. It may be time for your child to change medications or dosages. With your doctor’s help, you and your child can manage asthma.
Controlling Childhood Asthma
There are many common allergens and activities that are likely to cause asthma. Although not all of these may apply to your child, if you’re unsure of the cause of your child’s asthma, try eliminating all that you can.
An allergist can also perform a test that measures your child’s lung capacity and general lung performance. This test is a simple breathing test. The child is asked to exhale into a chamber, which measures the lung capacity. Often doctors don’t perform this test on children under the age of 5 or 6, since it takes an older child to understand the directions and control their breathing.
By avoiding as many asthma triggers as possible, you can lessen your child’s frequency of asthma attacks. So—keep the inhalers handy, but try to eliminate as many of your child’s triggers as possible.
Some triggers, like getting sick, are impossible to eliminate. Others, like exercise, still have benefits when engaged in safely. Exercise strengthens the lungs, and can be used to help control asthma. This is one reason why people with asthma are benefited if they keep in shape.
Triggers of asthma may include:
Disclaimer: The allergy information on this website is strictly general information and should not be taken as official advice. Please schedule an appointment with an allergy doctor in order to get a proper and full allergy diagnosis.
This article was developed by Utah Allergy Associates of Utah and Adaptivity Pro Web Design
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