Helping Your Child Manage Their Asthma

One of the most frightening and heartbreaking incidents to a parent is watching your child struggle to breathe. If you have a child with asthma, your worst fear is to hear them wheeze or cough. However, doctors have established steps that will help you prevent frequent asthma attacks and guides for treating flare-ups whenever they occur. Taking proactive measures and working with your doctor are among the steps that will help manage asthma. 

Photo by Maria Velniceriu on Unsplash

One of the best ways to manage asthma is by helping your child understand and avoid the condition's triggers. The common asthma triggers include: 


·      Gastroesophageal reflux (GER).

·      Exercise. 

·      Change in weather conditions. 

·      Presence of respiratory infections such as flu and colds. 

·      Dirty air due to the presence of pollutants and irritants. 

·      Presence of allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and mold. 


However, there are other common triggers of asthma, such as some medications, crying, and laughing. Although you should consult your doctor for asthma treatment at the onset, your child may not be able to avoid all these triggers all the time. Therefore, you should be on the lookout and watch carefully for these triggers to help your child to avoid them and monitor any possible symptoms to put them in immediate control. 


Asthma Triggers for Your Child 


Asthma triggers vary from one child to another. Some of these triggers can lead to asthma symptoms during a particular season of the year. As the child grows up, some triggers cease, or the child might outgrow the condition entirely.

The best approach to help you understand your child's asthma triggers is through working with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend maintaining an asthma diary where you will be recording your child's peak flow, medications, and noting dates when the symptoms began and the triggers of the associated symptoms. For children with allergen triggers, your doctor may recommend an allergen skin test. 


Reflux as A Trigger 


Gastroesophageal reflux refers to the flow back of the stomach content into the esophagus. When your child inhales these contents into the lungs, it harms the airways and may eventually worsen asthma. Treating the reflux trigger can help to alleviate asthma symptoms in your child. 


Exercise as an asthma trigger 


Exercise can be an asthma trigger for some kids. This, combined with allergens, are the most common triggers of asthma. However, exercise is an integral part of your child's overall health, which means that it should not be avoided. Instead of discouraging your child from participating in sports or exercise, the best asthma treatment is to talk to your doctor to advise on what the child should do before and after the exercise. 

child running on cold day:Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

 Extreme Weather as A Trigger 


Some weather conditions such as sunny, windy, rainy, dust can flare up asthma. In this case, you're recommended to keep a close eye on the weather forecast and limit the time a child will spend outside in the event of extreme weather. When it is unavoidable, and the bad weather finds your child outside, cover their nose and mouth with a scarf. 


When Allergen Are Triggers 


Allergens are the common triggers of asthma. These allergens include pollen, mold, dust mites, cockroaches, and animal dander. The best way to protect your child from allergens is by avoiding them or minimizing them at your home. For instance, keeping the bedroom dust-free entails making sure the sheets are washed weekly, using hypoallergenic fabrics to cover pillows and the mattress. In addition, clean curtains regularly and avoid using humidifiers. 

long haired cat:Photo by Ludemeula Fernandes on Unsplash

 When Irritants Are Triggers 


Irritants can affect anyone who is not necessarily asthmatic, although they do not pose a severe problem. But for children with asthma, it can cause flare-ups and swollen airways. Some of the common irritants include: 


·      Polluted air. 

·      Gas and paint fumes.

·      Tobacco and wood smoke. 

·      Perfumes. 


The following methods can be used to reduce irritants:


·      Buy an air cleaner or run an air conditioner. 

·      Prohibit smoking in your home or your car. 

·      Ensure the kitchen is well ventilated. 

·      Don't use a wood fire in your home.


Preventing asthma attacks is of priority, so when you notice the signs, seek asthma treatment immediately. Asthma can be managed by treating respiratory infections such as flu and cold - prevention is better than cure.