The thought of your child not being able to breathe can be terrifying. While there is no cure for asthma, there are many ways to treat it and help your child manage their symptoms. Let’s explore some of the most important things you can do to help your child breathe easier.
Work With a Doctor
This is not a DIY project. The most important thing you can do is to work with your child’s doctor to create a treatment plan that is right for them. Depending on the severity of your child’s asthma, this may include daily medications and rescue inhalers for when they have an asthma attack and a written asthma action plan. Be sure to follow your child’s treatment plan exactly as prescribed and keep track of their symptoms. This will help you and your child’s doctor know what is working and what needs to be changed.
Monitor potential side effects closely. Inhalers, while being the most common form of asthma treatment, can sometimes cause thrush in the mouth or throat. If you notice your child’s mouth is sore or they are having trouble swallowing, tell their doctor right away.
Reduce Their Asthma Triggers
Pay attention to environmental triggers. Dust mites, animal dander, smoke, pollution, and changes in weather can all trigger asthma attacks. Close observation and notes will be critical in this situation, as every asthma patient reacts differently to different triggers. Extreme temperatures in either direction can cause severe asthma, so try to distinguish your child’s comfort zone and do your best to keep them within it. Be sure to have heating maintenance done before winter to make sure that your system is ready to maintain ideal temperatures and potentially have duct work cleaned. Temperature aside, a dirty HVAC system can harbor mold, dust, and other allergens that can trigger asthma attacks.
Avoid Getting Sick
It’s also important to avoid sick people when possible, as respiratory infections are a common trigger for asthma attacks. If your child does get sick, make sure to watch them closely and give them their medication as prescribed by their doctor. Remember, if your child’s sinuses are congested, their mouth is their only way to breathe. So, if they are having trouble breathing through their nose, use a nebulizer or have them take a few puffs from their rescue inhaler, especially when the air is cold.
Encourage Your Child to Be Active
Exercise is important for everyone, but it’s especially critical for asthmatics. Just because your child has asthma doesn’t mean they can’t be active. In fact, regular exercise can actually help to improve their asthma symptoms. Of course, you’ll want to avoid exercising in cold weather or when the air quality is poor. But, as long as you take precautions, there’s no reason your child can’t lead a normal, active life.
The inability to breathe is frightening for people of all ages. Having a good plan, and taking the right precautions will help lessen the occurances of asthma attacks and help your child live a life of few limitations.
By Meghan Belnap
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.