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How Do You Know If Your Baby Has Asthma

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How to Tell if Your Child Has Asthma
  • Dont have written asthma action plan from your doctor
  • Use an inhaler, but dont have a spacer
  • Miss more than 1 day of school per month for asthma
  • Asthma limits exercise or sports
  • Asthma attacks wake child up from sleep
  • Use more than 1 inhaler per month
  • No asthma check-up in more than 1 year
  • You have other questions or concerns

How Do You Know If A Child Has Asthma

In this section: Diagnosis and Lung Testing | How To Tell You Have Asthma | Your Healthcare Team

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.

How Long Asthma Lasts For

Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult.

In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life.

The symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may have ongoing problems.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Childhood Asthma

Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. A child may even have different symptoms from one episode to the next. Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:

  • A cough that doesnât go away
  • Coughing spells that happen often, especially during play or exercise, at night, in cold air, or while laughing or crying
  • A cough that gets worse after a viral infection
  • Less energy during play, and stopping to catch their breath during activities
  • Avoiding sports or social activities
  • Tight neck and chest muscles
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble eating, or grunting while eating

Your child’s doctor should check out any illness that makes it hard for them to breathe.

Experts sometimes use the terms âreactive airways diseaseâ and âbronchiolitisâ when talking about wheezing with shortness of breath or coughing in infants and toddlers. Tests may not be able to confirm asthma in children younger than 5.

When to get emergency care

A severe asthma attack needs medical care right away. Watch for these signs:

  • Stopping in the middle of a sentence to catch a breath
  • Using stomach muscles to breathe
  • A belly that sinks in under their ribs when they try to get air
  • Chest and sides that pull in as they breathe
  • Severe wheezing

Visit Your Doctor To Check For Wheezing

Childhood Asthma

It is important for you to visit your doctor several times when you think your child is wheezing or having an asthma attack. This helps the doctor determine if your child is actually wheezing or simply has noisy breathing from chest or nasal congestion. Documenting several wheezing episodes in the doctors office can help make the diagnosis of asthma. You may find that what you perceive to be wheezing is really just congestion and may not be related to asthma at all.

If your doctor does detect wheezing on several occasions, he or she can help you determine if your child really does has asthma, and which type of asthma it may be.

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Treatment For Asthma Emergencies In Children

An asthma attack can quickly become an asthma emergency, but if you take quick action, you can reduce the risk of this happening. So, if the symptoms of an asthma attack appear, follow your childs asthma action plan.

If your child is experiencing a severe or life-threatening asthma attack, call triple zero for an ambulance and then start asthma first aid.:

  • Sit the child upright.
  • Give 4 puffs of reliever medication , taking 4 breaths for each puff. Use a spacer and mask if one is available.
  • Wait 4 minutes if the child still cannot breathe normally, give 4 more puffs.
  • Continue to give 4 separate puffs of reliever medication, taking 4 breaths for each puff, every 4 minutes until the ambulance arrives.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asthma In Children

Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:

  • Frequent coughing spells, which may occur while the child is playing, laughing, or at night or right after waking. Coughing may be the only symptom.
  • Less energy during play.
  • Complaint of chest tightness or the chest hurting.
  • Whistling sound when the child is breathing in or out.
  • Retractions in the chest from difficulty breathing.
  • Shortness of breath or loss of breath.
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles.
  • Feelings of weakness or tiredness.

Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. Symptoms can vary from episode to episode in the same child. In addition, not all wheezing or coughing is caused by asthma.

If your child has problems breathing, take him or her to the pediatrician for an evaluation. Your child may be referred to a specialist, such as a pediatric pulmonary provider or a pediatric allergist.

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What Causes Asthma In Infants And Toddlers

We still do not know what causes some people to get asthma. If a child has a family history of asthma or allergies, a specific allergy or had a mother who smoked during pregnancy, they have a higher chance of getting asthma early in life.

A respiratory virus, an illness that occurs in the lungs, is one of the most common causes of asthma symptoms in children 5 years old and younger. Although both adults and children experience respiratory infections, children have more of them. Some preschool children get viral infections often. At least half of children with asthma show some sign of it before the age of 5. Viruses are the most common cause of acute asthma episodes in infants 6 months old or younger.

What Factors Can Trigger Or Worsen Asthma Symptoms In Babies

How to tell if your child has Asthma

Similar to other asthma sufferers, symptoms in infants can be triggered or worsened by certain factors. Identifying these triggers can help your child better control their condition.

Asthma symptoms in babies can be triggered or worsened by these factors:

  • Colds or other respiratory infections
  • Allergens, such as dust, pet dander or pollen
  • Mold infestation in the house
  • Physical activity or exercise
  • Changes or extremes in weather
  • Viral infection in the lungs

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Types Of Infant Asthma

There are many different types of asthma, each with different triggers and outcomes. From a broad perspective, asthma can be classified as either:

  • Allergic asthma, also known as atopic or extrinsic asthma, which is triggered by allergens such as pollen and certain foods
  • Non-allergic asthma, also known as non-atopic or extrinsic asthma, in which symptoms develop in the absence of allergy

The distinction is especially important in infants, the vast majority of whom will develop allergic asthma. As an atopic disorder , allergic asthma is often part of a progression of disorders referred to as the “atopic march.”

The atopic march classically begins with the development of atopic dermatitis , often in the first six months of life. This initial atopy triggers changes in an immature immune system that opens the door to food allergies, which in turn opens the door to allergic rhinitis and, finally, asthma.

The progression can either happen slowly over the course of years or rapidly during the first months of life.

With infant asthma, the early onset of symptoms is concerning as it is often predictive of more severe disease later in life. This is especially true when wheezing develops before the age of 3.

It’s important, to remember, however, that not every infant with eczema will develop asthma, and not every infant with asthma will have had eczema. Asthma is a complex disease for which many factors contribute to both the onset and severity of symptoms.

How Should I Manage My Child’s Asthma

A key part of managing asthma is working with your doctor to develop an individualised written asthma action plan for your child. The plan helps you to recognise what triggers your child’s asthma, when and how to take medication, and knowing what to do if symptoms get worse.

It is also important to understand what may be causing your child’s asthma so you can reduce or remove triggers in the home.

Ask your doctor about aids and tips that will help you care for your child at home. You can talk about when and how to use medications and what devices you will need, such as inhalers and spacers, to help deliver the medication to your child’s airways.

It can also help to keep a diary to record when an asthma medication is given and when symptoms appear.

Learn as much about asthma as you can. For more information, call the Asthma Australia Information Line on 1800 278 462 to talk to a trained health professional.

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Spacers And Asthma Medication

For all people with asthma, it is recommended that a spacer device is used when asthma medication is delivered via a puffer . A spacer is a specially designed container that attaches to a puffer and has its own mouthpiece to breathe through.

Using a spacer helps the medication to go where it is supposed to into the small airways in the lungs rather than ending up coating your childs mouth, tongue and throat. It is much more effective than using a puffer on its own. Using a spacer with a puffer can reduce or prevent side effects from inhaled medication.

Babies and young children may need a spacer with a special face mask attached to inhale asthma medicines effectively. These fit tightly around your childs mouth and nose to make sure none of the medicine leaks out. Talk to your pharmacist for advice and to have your technique checked.

Watch this Asthma Australia video which shows you how to use a spacer with a face mask.

Making Er Trips Less Stressful

If your child has an asthma attack

Planning can make trips to the ER less stressful for you and your child. Here are some tips to try:

  • Know the location of your closest ER. If theres a childrens hospital ER nearby, go there and have the address and phone number handy .
  • If you have other kids, try to make arrangements with a relative or other caregiver who can take them in an emergency. But dont let the lack of a babysitter delay your trip to the ER. Someone can always come to the hospital later to pick up your other kids.
  • Take a copy of your childs asthma action plan or a note with the names and dosages of any medicines your child takes to share with the medical staff at the ER.

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Childhood Asthma Risk Factors

Asthma is the leading cause of long-term illness in children. It affects about 7 million kids in the United States. Those numbers have been going up, and experts arenât sure why.

Most children have their first symptoms by age 5. But asthma can begin at any age.

Things that can make a child more likely to have asthma include:

  • Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke before or after birth
  • African-American or Puerto Rican descent
  • Being raised in a low-income environment

How Can Er Visits Be Less Stressful

Planning can make trips to the ER less stressful for you and your child. Here are some tips to try:

  • Know the location of your closest ER. If theres a childrens hospital ER nearby, go there and have the address and phone number handy .
  • If you have other kids, try to make arrangements with a relative or other caregiver who can take them in an emergency. But dont let the lack of a babysitter delay your trip to the ER. Someone can always come to the hospital later to pick up your other kids.
  • Take a copy of your childs asthma action plan or a note with the names and dosages of any medicines your child takes to share with the medical staff at the ER.
  • Try to keep a written record of when your child uses a rescue inhaler.

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Treating Your Childs Asthma

There are two types of medications commonly used to treat asthma: controller medications, meant to decrease the underlying inflammation and reliever, or rescue, medications, which calm the symptoms of an asthma exacerbation or attack, like coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath. There are a few kinds of controller medications, but the most commonly prescribed is a corticosteroid thats taken every day using an inhaler . Less commonly, daily pills are used to control asthma.

Asthma relievers, or rescue medications, are used to open up the airways when asthma symptoms, such as coughing or wheezing, are present. Ideally, your childs asthma will be well-controlled with an inhaled corticosteroid and these medications will not be used very often. Relievers are always taken by inhaler to get the medication to the lungs quickly.

Parents work closely with their childs doctor to make sure the medications are working as they should and to check whether the dose or type of medication needs adjusting.

Your doctor might give you something called an Asthma Action Plan, which outlines what medication your child should be taking on a regular basis and when to give the rescue inhaler or seek medical attention. It can be helpful to work with an asthma or respiratory educator who can help you fine-tune your understanding of the medications and symptoms, says Andrea White Markham, a registered respiratory therapist and certified respiratory educator.

What Should You Do If Your Child Has An Asthma Attack

How to know if your child has Asthma and how to treat it? – Dr. Indu Khosla

If your child is showing symptoms of an asthma attack:

  • Give your child their reliever medicine according to the asthma action plan.
  • Wait 15 minutes. If the symptoms go away, your child should be able to resume whatever activity they were doing. If symptoms persist, follow the Asthma Action Plan for further therapy.
  • If your child fails to improve, or if you arent sure what action to take, call your care provider.

The danger signs of an asthma attack are:

  • Severe wheezing.
  • Trouble walking and/or talking,
  • Blue lips and/or fingernails.

If your child has any of these danger signs/symptoms, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

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When To Get Help

Listen to your gut and speak with your child’s pediatrician about anything that doesn’t seem quite right, even if you or your child can’t easily give it a name.

Wheezing, in particular, isn’t normal and should never be ignored. Contact a doctor if:

  • The wheezing is new
  • Wheezing isn’t new but is getting worse
  • You’re otherwise concerned about what’s happening with your child

Unfortunately, a breathing emergency may be the first indication that your child has asthma. Get emergency treatment for them right away if:

  • They stop mid-sentence to catch their breath
  • Their nostrils widen nostrils when they breathing in
  • They’re using abdominal muscles to force air in and out
  • The abdomen is sucked under the ribs when they inhale
  • They’re lethargic

What To Expect When You Visit The Doctor

Your doctor may ask whether you have any family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever.

In children, doctors assess the severity of the asthma based on the pattern and frequency of the symptoms.

Lung function tests are difficult to perform in children younger than 5 years and so are usually only used to diagnose and assess severity in children 5 years and older.

It is recommended that a paediatrician or paediatric respiratory specialist diagnose and manage asthma in infants under 12 months. If your infant is wheezing your doctor should refer to you one of these specialists.

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What’s An Asthma Emergency

As a parent of a child with asthma, you want to avoid the emergency room as much as possible. But it’s also important to know when going to the ER is the right choice.

Sometimes, kids with asthma need medical care very quickly. If any of these symptoms happen, see your doctor immediately, go to the ER, or call an ambulance:

  • Your child has constant wheezing.
  • Your child uses quick-relief medicines repeatedly for severe flare-up symptoms that don’t go away after 1520 minutes or return again quickly.
  • Your child has a lasting cough that doesn’t respond to inhaled quick-relief medicine.
  • There are changes in your child’s color, like bluish or gray lips and fingernails.
  • Your child has trouble talking and can’t speak in full sentences.
  • The areas below the ribs, between the ribs, and in the neck visibly pull in during inhalation .

What To Do In An Emergency

How to Know If Your Child Has Asthma? 15 Common Signs and ...

Follow these steps if your child is having an asthma attack:

  • Stay calm as this will help your child stay calm breathing can become harder if they are stressed.
  • Sit them upright.
  • Ask them to take slow breaths.
  • Connect their face mask or spacer device to their inhaler.
  • Give them a puff of their inhaler every minute. Children under the age of 6 can have 6 puffs in a 10 minute period. Children over the age of 6 can take 10 puffs over 10 minutes.
  • Take the details of your childs inhalers, other medicines and personal asthma action plan with you if you go to hospital.

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    Question : Do Your Symptoms Get Worse When You Go Out In The Garden Or Are Near Pets

    You answered yes.

    You answered no.

    • A worsening of asthma symptoms is known as an asthma exacerbation, or more commonly, as an asthma attack. These are induced by triggers stimulus that cause increased severity of symptoms.
    • Triggers are often something airborne that inflame the bronchi when they come into contact with them.
    • Common triggers include allergens such as pollen, pet hair, or dust, but an asthma attack can also be triggered by non-allergic reactions, such as to cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, certain foods or medicines, or an abrupt change in the weather.
    • An attack can even be brought on by stress a number of changes in the body take place when were under pressure, which can lead to increased chest tightness and heavy breathing.
    • The body also releases chemicals in periods of stress, such as leukotrienes and histamines, which can cause inflammation of the airways.

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