Tips For Keeping Your Child's Asthma Attacks Under Control
Having a child with asthma is often difficult to cope with. It's frightening to see your child struggle to breathe, and it's heartbreaking to see your child suffer from a disease that has such a big impact on their life. Fortunately, asthma can often be controlled if it is managed well with the help of an asthma specialist. Here are some tips for helping your child deal with this medical condition.
Take Medications As Prescribed
An important step in controlling asthma attacks is to stop them from happening in the first place. Medications play a big role in keeping asthma symptoms at bay. While taking medications on a prescribed schedule can be challenging when you and your child lead busy lives, it is extremely important not to miss doses of medication that prevent asthma attacks.
Send your child's medicine to school and to sleepovers so it is always available to take on time. Teach your child the importance of taking the medication so non-compliance doesn't become the cause of a severe attack that lands your child in the emergency room.
Avoid Allergens That Cause Symptoms
Your child's specialist may recommend allergy testing for your child since allergies can trigger asthma symptoms. Once you know the things that trigger an asthma attack, you'll want to use avoidance as much as possible. You may need to rehome the family pet and keep certain foods out of the diet. Besides allergens, you'll want to uncover other things that cause your child's allergies to flare.
Going outdoors when the air is bitterly cold and dry might cause your child to have an asthma attack. On the other hand, it could be rain or hot muggy days that cause your child to have breathing difficulties. Note the conditions and exposures your child had before each attack begins so you can identify a pattern. You may need to alter your child's lifestyle or adjust medications along with seasonal changes in the weather.
Use A Peak Flow Meter Daily
Your asthma specialist may give your child a peak flow meter to use at home. This is a small meter that your child blows air into as forcefully as possible. The meter measures the rate of the flow. This is an important measurement because it reflects airway constriction in the lungs.
When the lungs are tight, airflow is reduced and the peak flow meter readings will be lower. When tested daily, the peak flow rate gives a general clue to the state of your child's asthma. When the numbers are trending down, it could be an indication an asthma attack is possible. This gives you warning in advance before symptoms appear so you can follow the asthma specialist's recommendations on what to do to ward off the attack.
Keeping your child's asthma well-controlled is important to helping him or her feel like part of the crowd in school. Depending on the severity of your child's condition, it may be possible for your child to participate in sports and lead an active childhood as long as their asthma is properly treated and controlled.