What Are The Treatments For Asthma In Children
IIf your child has asthma, you will work with their health care provider to create a treatment plan. The plan will include ways to manage your childs asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks, such as
- Strategies to avoid triggers. For example, if tobacco smoke is a trigger for your child, you should not allow anyone to smoke in your home or car.
- Short-term relief medicines, also called quick-relief medicines. They help prevent symptoms or relieve symptoms during an asthma attack. They include an inhaler to have for your child at all times. It may also include other types of medicines which work quickly to help open your childs airways.
- Control medicines. They work by reducing airway inflammation and preventing narrowing of the airways. Not all children will take control medicines. Whether or not your child needs them depends on how severe the asthma is and how often your child has symptoms.
If your child has a severe attack and the short-term relief medicines do not work, get medical help right away.
Your child’s provider may adjust the treatment until the asthma symptoms are controlled.
Q Will My Child With Asthma Be Allowed To Use Their Quick
Yes. The use of a quick-relief inhaler, with a spacer or valved holding chamber, should not spread viral particles because, when used correctly, the medicine is inhaled into the lungs and not expelled. Coughing is a common asthma symptom and using an inhaler could also cause a child to cough. Children should maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet and cover their mouth if their asthma or the use of an inhaler makes them cough. Its important to communicate with the school health office to inform them that your child has asthma and to complete any paperwork that may be required by the school to allow your child to self-carry and self-administer their asthma medicine during the school day. If your child forgets their medicine or is not able to self-carry, discuss treatment options with the school health staff.
What Is Childhood Asthma
If your child has asthma, their lungs and airways can easily get inflamed when they have a cold or are around things like pollen. The symptoms may make it hard for your child to do everyday activities or sleep. Sometimes, an asthma attack can result in a trip to the hospital.
Thereâs no cure for asthma in children, but you can work with your childâs doctor to treat it and prevent damage to their growing lungs.
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Know The Goals Of Treatment
By following your child’s treatment plan, you can help your child meet these goals:
- Increase lung function by treating the inflammation in the lungs.
- Decrease the severity, frequency, and duration of asthma attacks by avoiding triggers.
- Treat acute attacks as they occur.
- Use quick-relief medicine less .
- Have a full lifethe ability to participate in all daily activities, including school, exercise, and recreationby preventing and managing symptoms.
- Sleep through the night undisturbed by asthma symptoms.
Asthma education programs provided by certified asthma educators are available in most areas. Ask your doctor or contact the Asthma Society of Canada, the Canadian Lung Association, or the Canadian Network for Asthma Care to learn about asthma education programs.
Babies and small children need early treatment for asthma symptoms to prevent severe breathing problems. They may have more serious problems than adults because their bronchial tubes are smaller.
Learning To Manage Asthma
For some people, asthma requires consistent medication and awareness of potential triggers that might lead to an asthma attack. For others, asthma only requires the occasional use of an inhaler for rare flare-ups. But to get to a point where asthma is well-controlled, parents need to be proactive about speaking to a pediatrician if a child presents with any of the symptoms associated with the disease.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma In Children
The symptoms of asthma in children include
- Chest tightness
- Wheezing, which causes a whistling sound when they breathe out
- Trouble eating or sucking
These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They may happen often or only once in a while.
When children have an asthma attack, their symptoms get much worse. The attacks may come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they can be life-threatening. Warning signs of a severe attack include severe coughing, serious breathing problems, and turning very pale or blue in the face, lips and/or fingernails. If your child has those symptoms, get medical help right away.
What Should I Do If My Child Has Symptoms
- can be treated at home
- should come in for a visit
- can have a video or telehealth visit
In a telehealth visit, a health care provider can see your child on video while you stay at home. If you can, choose a telehealth provider who specializes in caring for kids. If the doctor thinks your child needs care right away, they will guide you on where to go. When possible, check for telehealth in your area before anyone in your family is sick.
Watch for signs that your child might need more medical help. Go to the ER if your child:
- looks very sick to you
- has breathing problems. Look for muscles pulling in between the ribs or the nostrils puffing out with each breath.
- is confused or very sleepy
- has chest pain
- has cold, sweaty, pale or blotchy skin
- is dizzy
- has very bad belly pain
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Asthma Signs & Symptoms
People with asthma experience symptoms due to inflammation in the airways. They might only occur when you encounter an asthma trigger. Common symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis of asthma include:
- Persistent or recurring coughing: which often occurs at night or early in the morning, although it can happen at any time. Coughing is a major feature of asthma, especially in children and can sometimes be the only sign of asthma.
- Wheezing: is difficulty breathing accompanied by a whistling sound coming from your airways
- Shortness of breath: gives you the feeling that you cant get enough air into your lungs, and may even find it difficult to eat, sleep or speak
- Chest tightness: an unpleasant sensation of heaviness or pressure in the chest that can make it hard to breathe
- Increased mucus production: is characterized by high levels of thick fluid or phlegm accumulating in your airways
- Difficulty breathing while exercising: having trouble breathing while performing physical activities can be a sign of asthma
- Losing Sleep: Being unable to sleep through the night because of breathing troubles
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.
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How Can I Prevent Asthma Attacks
Although preventative measures dont always guarantee your child wont have an asthma attack, there are easy habits guardians can do, to decrease the possibility of one occurring.;
Try to keep your child away from smoke. Especially at a young age, children are more susceptible to an asthma attack, if they are near tobacco smoke.;
Make regular doctor visits. Any time you or your child notice that their asthma is not under control, it might be best to check in with their doctor.;
Encourage your child to actively participate in physical activities. However, encourage them to keep it under control and to stop if they need to. This will help exercise their lungs and will keep them working more efficiently.;
Lastly, and most importantly, avoid triggers to their asthma. This includes both allergens and irritants.;
How Can I Keep My Family Safe If My Child Has Symptoms
- Keep your family home until you talk to your doctor. If the doctor thinks your child’s symptoms could be COVID-19, everyone in the household should stay home until testing is done or symptoms are gone. Check the CDC’s website for details.
- Keep other people and pets in the house away from your child as much as possible.
- Try to have one person only care for the sick child so others are not exposed.
- If your child is over 2 years old and can wear a mask;without finding it hard to breathe, have them wear one when the caregiver is in the room. Don’t leave your child alone while they’re wearing a mask. The caregiver also should wear one when in the same room. For more about masks, check the CDC’s guide.
- If possible, have your sick child use a different bathroom from others. If that isn’t possible, wipe down the bathroom often.
- Everyone in your family should wash their hands well and often. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Use regular household cleaners or wipes to clean things that get touched a lot . Do this every day.
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Who Can Get Asthma
Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed to tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
Statistics show women tend to have asthma more than men, and asthma affects Black Americans more frequently than other races.
When a child develops asthma, healthcare providers call it childhood asthma. If it develops later in life, its adult-onset asthma.
Children do not outgrow asthma. They may have fewer symptoms as they get older, but they could still have an asthma attack. Your childs healthcare provider can help you understand the risks.
What Makes A Child More Likely To Develop Asthma
There are many risk factors for developing childhood asthma. These include:
- Family history of asthma, allergies and atopy .
- Frequent respiratory infections.
- Being African American.
- Being raised in a low-income environment.
In children who are under five years of age, the most common cause of asthma symptoms is upper respiratory viral infections such as the common cold.
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Vaping And Lung Damage
- Talk with your teen about the dangers of vaping.
- Vaping can cause severe lung damage. It can become permanent.
- Vaping can even cause death .
- Vaping tobacco also causes nicotine addiction.
- For these reasons, the legal age to purchase vaping products is 21 in the US.
- Encourage your teen to not start vaping or to give it up.
- Warning: home-made or street-purchased vaping solutions are the most dangerous.
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.
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How Does Exercise Trigger Asthma Symptoms
Doctors think they know why some peopleâs asthma is made worse by exercise .Normally, people breathe through their nose. Your nose acts as an air filter. It controls the temperature and humidity of the air before it reaches your lungs.When you exercise, your body wants more air. ;Your breathing speeds up to get more air. You start breathing through your mouth, so you can gulp down more air. But air that comes through your mouth has not been filtered, warmed, or humidified by your nose. This means the air that gets to your airways is cooler and drier than usual.If you have asthma, your extra-sensitive airways donât like cool dry air. Your airways react: the muscles around the airways twitch and squeeze tighter. Tighter airways mean there is less space for the air to pass through. This makes you wheeze, cough, and feel short of breath.
Q Is It Safe For My Child With Asthma To Wear A Mask For Extended Periods Of Time
Children with asthma should be able to wear a non-N95 facial covering without affecting their oxygen levels. Non- N95 facial coverings are currently the recommended public health practice by the CDC for the general public, including children. Have your children practice wearing their face mask at home for an extended period. Check out our steps to help your children get used to wearing a cloth face covering.
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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.
Avoid Upper Respiratory Infections
- Avoid contact with other people who are ill. If there is an ill child in the home, separate him or her from other children, if possible.
- If you have a respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu, or if you are caring for someone with a respiratory infection, wash your hands before and after caring for this person.
- Do not smoke. Second-hand smoke irritates the mucous membranes in your child’s nose, sinuses, and lungs and increases his or her risk for respiratory infections.
- Children who have asthma and their family members should get an influenza vaccine every year.
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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?
Q: Is It Safe For My Child With Asthma To Wear A Mask
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone two years of age and older wear a cloth face covering while around others. Children with asthma should be able to wear a cloth face covering if their asthma is well-controlled. Because some children may find it difficult to wear a mask for an extended period, parents should purchase or identify a facial covering that is comfortable for their children to wear. There are many different types of face coverings with a variety of fabrics, designs, straps and fits that may make one mask more comfortable than another.
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Why Do More Boys Outgrow Asthma Than Girls
Although a recent study found that boys were more likely than girls to outgrow asthma, Rachelefsky says there isnât enough research to make any conclusions about gender and the progression of asthma.
Panettieri says more girls develop asthma after the onset of puberty; boys develop it before.
âItâs not that boys outgrow it, but now there are more women with it,â he says.
Some studies have suggested that hormonal differences may factor in to a higher prevalence of adult asthma in women.