Posts for tag: Asthma
Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:
- Trouble or difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Tightness in the chest
- Coughing that often gets worse at night
- Fatigue, especially with exercise or play
If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.
During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.
Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.
The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.
Asthma doesn't have to prevent your child from enjoying life. Thanks to a variety of effective treatment options, flare-ups may be reduced or prevented. The children's doctors at 7 Day Pediatrics help children manage asthma and other chronic conditions from their Edison and South Plainfield, NJ, offices and serving Fords and Perth Amboy.
How can I tell that my child is asthma?
Your child may have asthma if he or she exhibits any of these symptoms:
- Wheezing: You may notice a whistling sound when your child breathes out.
- Coughing: Does your child cough frequently, even if he or she doesn't seem to be sick?
- Trouble Breathing: Your son or daughter may experience shortness of breath or rapid breathing due to asthma.
- Chest Pain or Tightness: Children who have asthma may say that their chest hurts or feels tight.
- Fatigue and Irritability: Struggling to breathe can make your child feel tired and grumpy.
What options are available to treat asthma?
Although you may suspect your child has asthma, the only way to confirm your suspicions is with a visit to an Edison or South Plainfield pediatrician. Common treatment options include:
- Maintenance Medications: These medications are taken every day to prevent or reduce asthma flare-ups. Some medications are inhaled, while others are available in pill form.
- Rescue Medications: Your child may also be prescribed a quick-relief inhaler that can help control asthma symptoms for four to six hours. The inhaler is used when symptoms flare up and is usually used in conjunction with a maintenance medication.
Treating underlying issues that may worsen asthma or cause flare-ups is also important. If your child's symptoms are triggered by allergies, allergy medication or immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be recommended.
Identification of asthma triggers is another important aspect of asthma management. Triggers may include cigarette smoke, perfume, mold, cold weather, exercise, pet dander, or allergens. You might ask family members to avoid wearing fragrances in your home if strong odors cause flare-ups. If cold temperatures cause symptoms, encouraging your child to play indoors on frigid days may help him or her avoid an asthma attack.
Does your child have any symptoms of asthma? Call the children's doctors at 7 Day Pediatrics in Edison and South Plainfield, NJ, at (732) 548-3210 to schedule your child's appointment.
While asthma may make playing sports more difficult, it certainly doesn't have to rule out sports altogether. Simply follow these five guidelines and your children will have a great time playing, without you worrying about their safety.
1. Choose the Right Sport
Some sports pose more of a danger than others. Sports such as ice skating, ice hockey, soccer and running pose the most risk due to the cold weather and the periods of intense activity with little break. Sports such as swimming, bowling and golf generally pose less risk.
2. Inform Your Child's Coach
Once your child is signed up, but before he or she goes out to play, have a friendly discussion with the coach. Let the coach know what warning signs to watch out for, and that while your child can play, he or she does have a legitimate complaint if pushed too far.
3. Teach Your Child the Warning Signs to Watch Out For
While the coach should keep an eye on your child, your child needs to be able to spot the warning signs of an asthma attack first. Common symptoms your child should know to watch out for include coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, decreased performance, and difficulty breathing.
4. Make Sure Your Child Always Has an Inhaler on Hand
An inhaler is typically the best defense against a sudden asthma attack, and your child won't want to be caught without one.
5. Watch the Weather Forecast
If your child plays an outdoor sport, you may want to watch the weather forecast to be aware of certain trigger days. Both cold weather and allergies can be triggers, and you may need to keep your child home on the worst days.
With the proper precautions and knowledge, there is no reason your child can't be part of the team! Simply follow these five safety procedures so your child can have fun without worry.
What Causes My Child’s Asthma Flare-Up?
- Dust mites
- Chalk dust
- Cigarette smoke