Asthma Action Plans For Children
An asthma action planis a clear written summary of instructions for when your childs asthma symptoms change. Everyone with asthma should have a personalised asthma action plan written by their doctor.
Your childs asthma action plan will tell you:
- how to recognise when your childs asthma is getting worse or an attack is developing, and the steps you should take to manage it
- symptoms that are serious, indicating a need for urgent medical help
- your childs asthma triggers.
Make sure you understand and can follow the asthma action plan from your doctor.
How Are Babies Treated For Asthma
Infants can receive asthma medications through an inhaler, but often a nebulizer with a mask is a more efficient and effective way to deliver their asthma medication. A nebulizeris a machine that delivers liquid medication in a warm mist.
Be mindful to follow the medication instructions given to you by your doctor and on the package insert.
Would You Know If Your Child Has Asthma
Asthma affects as many as 10 to 12 percent of children in the United States and is the leading cause of chronic illness in children.
For unknown reasons, the incidence of asthma in children is steadily increasing.
While asthma symptoms can begin at any age, most children experience symptoms by age 5.
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Side Effects Of Asthma Medication
If you are worried about possible side effects from asthma medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop or reduce doses of medication for your child without speaking with your doctor. Common side effects from inhaled asthma medication:
- sore mouth and throat
- fungal throat infections.
Using a spacer reduces the risk of these side effects. as does rinsing the mouth with water after using an inhaler.
- fast heart beat.
Preparing For Your Childs Visit To Your Healthcare Provider
During your appointment, your healthcare providerwill conduct a physical exam and may order some tests, like x-ray, blood tests, allergy skin tests, and pulmonary function tests .
The physician will take a detailed history of:
- Family allergy/asthma, with emphasis on parents
- Childs allergy history e.g. eczema
- Childs history of illness to date e.g. frequency of colds
- Childs symptoms: Severity, frequency and duration of symptoms. What brings an end to the symptoms for example if the child has a cold, do the symptoms disappear when the cold is over?
- Childs triggers: what have the parents observed with respect to exposures to allergens or irritants, such as smoke, perfume, infection or emotions
This information will help your healthcare provider understand your childs pattern of symptoms.
Exercise Is Good For Children With Asthma
Exercise is good for children with asthma, as long as their asthma is well managed.
- You can give your child their reliever inhaler before exercise, if exercise usually triggers their asthma.
- If your child already has asthma symptoms, its best for them to avoid exercise until they improve.
- Sports with lots of stopping and starting are less likely to cause problems eg, swimming, tennis, martial arts and most team sports.
- Warming up before exercise is important.
- If your child shows any sign of asthma, STOP the activity immediately and treat the symptoms.
Causes And Triggers Of Childhood Asthma
Common triggers include:
- Airway infections. This includes colds, pneumonia, and sinus infections.
- Allergens. Your child might be allergic to things like cockroaches, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen.
- Irritants. Things like air pollution, chemicals, cold air, odors, or smoke can bother their airways.
- Exercise. It can lead to wheezing, coughing, and a tight chest.
- Stress. It can make your child short of breath and worsen their symptoms.
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Key Points About Asthma In Children
Asthma is a long-term lung disease.
Symptoms include trouble breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.
Staying away from the things that cause asthma symptoms is an important part of asthma treatment.
Medicines are used to prevent and control symptoms during flare-ups.
Asthma can cause serious complications if it is not well-controlled.
An up-to-date asthma action plan is key to managing asthma.
Lab And Imaging Tests
If the symptoms are severe and abnormal breathing sounds are detected, your doctor may order blood tests to investigate whether viral pneumonia, RSV, or influenza is involved.
If a bacterial infection is suspected, a throat swab or sputum culture may be performed.
In emergency situations, pulse oximetry or an arterial blood gas test will be used to see if blood oxygen levels are low. Other pulmonary function tests may be performed to evaluate how well your lungs are functioning during and after an acute attack.
Allergen testing may be useful in diagnosing allergic asthma, but it does not necessarily exclude viral-induced asthma as a cause.
Even if a respiratory virus cannot be identified, the co-occurrence of a respiratory infection with a reduced forced expiratory volume of 20% or more is strongly suggestive of viral-induced asthma, particularly in people with well-controlled disease.
Given that viral-induced asthma is as common as it is, findings like these will often warrant treatment even if the viral culprit is not identified.
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Video: Spotting Asthma Symptoms In Your Child
Transcription for ‘Spotting symptoms of asthma in your child’
0:14 If youre worried your child might have asthma, but youre not sure whether to talk to your GP about it, this video shows the things to look out for. There are four main symptoms of asthma – coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness.
0:34 Children get coughs all the time. So how do you tell if it could be asthma?When your child gets a cough is a good clue. Children with asthma often cough at night time, in the early morning or after exercise.Another sign is if your child has had a cough for a long time and it just wont go away.
0:57 A wheeze is a whistling sound in your childs chest, usually when they breathe out. Every childs wheeze is different and theyre often hard to hear. Even your nurse or doctor might need to use a stethoscope! So, if you cant hear a wheeze, but your child has other symptoms, Id still recommend talking to your doctor about asthma.
1:15 Another sign of asthma is chest tightness. This ones tricky to spot. In my experience, children with chest tightness often rub their tummy or chest. If they can talk, they might say things like, I have a tummy ache or my chest hurts.
2:26 If you have more questions about asthma, you can always WhatsApp me or one of my nurse colleagues at Asthma UK.
2:35 Contact an Asthma UK nurse on WhatsApp 07378 606 728
Asthma Patterns In Children
Every childs asthma is different. Some children have mild, occasional episodes of asthma or only show symptoms after exercising, or when they have a cold. Some experience daily symptoms, while others have symptoms continuously, which limit their level of activity.
Each pattern of asthma requires a different treatment approach. It is important to remember that children can still have a severe and even life-threatening attack, even if they generally have mild or occasional asthma.
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Question : Are Your Symptoms Worse When You Are At Work
You answered yes.
You answered no.
- Someone who works in an environment where they are exposed to dust, fumes, certain chemicals or animals, and finds their symptoms flare up at work, may have what is known as occupational asthma, which affects around one in ten people who first develop asthma in adulthood.
- Bakers, vets, nurses, hairdressers, engineers and woodworkers are just some of the jobs that can lead to occupational asthma.
How To Tell You Have Asthma
Asthma is a complex disease to diagnose, and only a healthcare professional is able to make a proper .
If you are concerned that you may have asthma, contact your healthcare provider. In order to confirm an asthma diagnosis, your healthcare provider will take into account your medical and family history, allergies, and conduct lung function testing such as spirometry.
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Q Are Quick Relief Inhalers Just As Effective At Stopping My Childs Asthma Symptoms From Getting Worse As A Nebulizer
Yes. Studies have shown that using a quick-relief inhaler with a spacer/valved holding chamber can help get the medicine deep into the lungs where it works best. For more information on proper use, see Using an Inhaler with a Valved Holding Chamber.
Additionally, using disposable valved holding chambers or spacers with a quick relief inhaler in place of a traditional valved holding chamber or spacer should be discussed with your childs healthcare provider.
Care Advice For Asthma Attack
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What Can I Do To Manage My Childs Asthma
When a baby or toddler has a chronic illness, parents can feel stressed to their limits. Here are some coping tips:
- Learn the warning signs for increasing asthma in infants and toddlers. Know your childs particular asthma symptom pattern.
- Develop an asthma care plan with your childs doctor. Make sure the plan has a course of action to follow if asthma symptoms get worse. Understand when your child needs emergency care.
- Follow your child’s Asthma Action Plan every day! Dont change the plan until you consult your health care provider. Even if your childs symptoms are gone, stick with the plan until you discuss changes with the doctor.
- Teach your toddler or preschooler to tell you when they are not feeling well.
- Work out an emergency plan of action to follow if your child has a serious asthma episode. What hospital will you use? Who will take care of your other children? How does your medical coverage provide for emergency care?
Childhood Asthma Often Has A Pattern That Parents Can Help Identify
Identifying your childs asthma triggers is vital to effective treatment. But triggers vary widely and can be difficult to spot. However, paying attention to the timing of your childs symptoms can highlight a pattern that helps Dr. Soos zero in on the trigger.
For instance, asthma attacks that most often occur during the height of ragweed pollen season, mid-August through the first hard frost, are often triggered by seasonal/fall allergies.
Other patterns to watch for include symptoms that typically occur:
- During or shortly after exercise
- At night or very early in the morning
- After laughing or crying
- With exposure to perfumes, including candles, air fresheners, and skin- and hair-care products
Once your child is diagnosed with asthma, Dr. Soos develops an asthma action plan that provides detailed information to you and your child about asthma, including:
- What medicines to take and when
- A list of possible triggers
- When to seek emergency care
Schedule a visit with us at Dr. Soos Pediatrics today for further information about childhood asthma and a treatment plan that can restore your childs active life. Call our office in Dublin, Georgia, or book an appointment online.
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Your Level Of Asthma Control
If your asthma is well controlled, your airways will be less sensitive to exercise. Youll find exercise is less of a trigger for you.If you find exercise makes your breathing a lot worse, it could be a sign that your asthma is not controlled. Tell your doctor about your symptoms and ask how to get your asthma under control.If your asthma is usually well-controlled, but youve got a cold, flu, or other respiratory infection, you could be more likely to get symptoms while exercising. If youve been sick, pay careful attention to your symptoms. It may be a good idea to exercise less while youre getting over your chest infection.
How Do You Give Your Child Asthma Medication
You will be giving your child asthma medications using a valved holding chamber device or a home nebulizer .
Your child may be able to use a metered dose inhaler with a VHC. A VHC is a chamber that attaches to the MDI and holds the burst of medication. Talk with your child’s provider to see if an MDI with VHC is right for your child.
The nebulizer delivers asthma medications by changing them from a liquid to a mist. Your child gets the medicine by breathing it in through a facemask or mouthpiece.
There are some asthma medications that are also breath-actuated, or come as a dry powder. These medications are given to older children who are able to demonstrate the appropriate technique for using them.
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How Is Asthma Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your childs healthcare provider may refer you to a pulmonologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat lung conditions. Your child may also be referred to an asthma and allergy specialist. This is a doctor with special training in treating both asthma and allergies. Your childs treatment is based on how severe the symptoms are and how easily they are controlled. Treatment includes finding triggers and ways to stay away from them. It will also include medicines.
Asthma medicines include:
Bronchodilators. These medicines are used to help open the narrowed airways. They may ease coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing.
Anti-inflammatory medicines . These medicines help ease the inflammation in the airways.
Anti-leukotrienes. These medicines help decrease the narrowing of the airways. These are often given by mouth. They are often used to treat mild symptoms.
Allergy shots . This can be used to decrease allergies to environmental triggers such as dust, pollen, or animal allergies that can trigger asthma flares in some people.
Biologic medicines. These are injected medicines used for certain types of severe asthma. They are available for children age 6 and older.
Can My Child With Asthma Play With Kids Who Have Colds
Colds can exacerbate asthma. “It’s best to keep young children with asthma away from people who are sick,” Tolomeo advises. “Wash their hands frequently, and ask your healthcare provider about receiving the flu vaccine.”
A recent CDC study showed the flu vaccine reduces asthma flare-ups in children 6 and younger by up to 41 percent — and that vaccinating all children with asthma could prevent as many as three-quarters of asthma-related trips to emergency rooms and hospitalizations during flu season.
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Can Asthma Be Cured
There is currently no known cure for asthma, but with proper and asthma management it is fully possible for people with asthma to live healthy, active and symptom-free lives.
There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. Asthma Canadas National Research Program is committed to supporting leading asthma researchers and graduate student researchers working to expand our knowledge and one day, unlock a cure.
Can Cold Air Cause An Asthma Attack
If your asthma is severe and cold air is a trigger, then you are at risk for an asthma attack in cold weather. Consult your Asthma Action Plan to manage asthma in cold weather. You should always seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
To keep cold air from causing an asthma flare:
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