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How To Help Asthma In Toddlers

Is It Safe To Take Asthma Medicine During Pregnancy

What is Asthma? – for Kids with Asthma

Asthma symptoms that dont stop or that get worse can be a risk to your and your baby. If you were taking asthma medicine before pregnancy, dont stop taking it without talking to your provider first.

If youre diagnosed with asthma during pregnancy, talk to your provider about the best way to treat or manage it.

If youre already getting allergy shots, you can keep taking them during pregnancy. But if you arent getting allergy shots, dont start taking them when youre pregnant because you could have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

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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?

Will My Child Grow Out Of Asthma

Asthma is a long-term condition. The majority of children with asthma have less troublesome asthma as teenagers. Symptoms can appear again in adulthood. If your child has severe asthma, it is more likely to continue or return in later life.

Your child should learn about asthma and gradually take over responsibility for its management, as they become a teenager, with support from you.

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Can You Use Alternative Medicine For Your Childs Asthma

Alternative treatments have been in use for managing symptoms of asthma for a long time. However, proper evidence on such treatment is lacking. While some of them like the non-drug therapies are usually harmless, you can ask your childs pediatrician about the right one for your child.

Breathing exercises are forms of non-drug treatment that has been routinely used in the treatment of people with asthma. These include structured breathing programs, such as the Buteyko breathing technique, the Papworth method, yoga, and pranayama that manipulate the breathing pattern and help in asthma.

Emotionally stressed children suffer from more attacks of asthma. Try teaching them relaxation techniques, such as meditation, hypnosis, and progressive muscle relaxation.

If you do not know any of these non-drug approaches, learn from complementary and alternative practitioners, doctors, psychologists, social workers, or nurses who may be able to teach you all these.

A few home remedies have been tried for asthma, including

  • Black seed

Ways To Control Asthma Symptoms In Children

What Are Your Child

Children who suffer from asthma may experience attacks on a regular basis. As a parent, its difficult to see your child suffer from such debilitating breathing issues. As most of you already know, there are prescriptions offered by doctors that can significantly help children with asthma. In addition to oral pills and inhalers, there are several things you can do at home to help manage this condition and make breathing easier for your child.

Here are 10 Ways to Help Manage Asthma in Children:

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Asthma Tips For Teachers

Teachers can help children with uncontrolled asthma get the help they need to take control of their disease. Teachers with proper asthma education are key to helping prevent fatal asthma attacks from occurring at schools. Below we have outlined some key tips for teachers to understand this chronic disease.

Asthma Management in Schools Best Practices Patient-developed resource to educate parents, schools and children on the roles and responsibilities for asthma-friendly environments.

Letter to Parents This letter is designed to assist teachers in communicating their observations of classroom behaviour that may indicate deteriorating asthma control, to parents.

Medication Tracking Form This form will help teachers to record each time a student needs to use his/her blue inhaler for relief of asthma symptoms.

Saras Ready Preparing for the September Asthma Peak Back to School brings sick days and visits to the hospital for children. Learn how to avoid September Peak through proper asthma management.

When To See Your Doctor

  • severe trouble breathing, such as rapid breathing, indrawing of muscles between their ribs when inhaling, and grunting when exhaling
  • blue lips or fingertips, darkened skin
  • chest, throat or neck pain
  • fever and constant coughing or wheezing that doesnt respond to prescribed medicines
  • vomiting that wont allow them to take oral medicine.

Also see your doctor if your child has asthma and is uneasy, drowsy, confused or lethargic .

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What Can You Do

Asthma Canada recommends the following steps to help your child achieve symptom-free asthma:

Step 1: Talk to your doctor, pharmacist and asthma educator about how to monitor your childs asthma control.

Step 2: Ask your doctor about:

Step 3: Meet with staff from your childs school to:

To find an asthma educator in your area, use our online Asthma Education Centre Locator tool.

Child Asthma Action Plan The Student Asthma Action Plan is an excellent resource for managing your childs asthma. It includes information about your childs medication plans, signs of trouble and emergency steps to take.

Student Asthma Data Form This is a form concerning your childs medication needs and specific asthma warning signs. Along with the Asthma Action Plan, this form should be filled out by you and by your childs primary care physician.

A copy of this card should then be given to the school staff members such as the teacher, principal and physical education instructor.

Peak Flow Instructions Peak flow monitoring is an alternative way to assist you in monitoring your childs asthma condition.

For more general asthma resources and support, visit our resourcespage.

How Do I Know If My Infant Or Child Has Severe Asthma

Dealing With Asthma and Allergies in Children

If you are concerned that your infant or childs asthma may be severe, observe their behavior for the indicators below and speak to your healthcare provider right away.

Observe your infant for any of the following indicators of Severe Asthma:

  • Sits up, refuses to lie down
  • Stops feeding
  • Pale or bluish-looking skin anywhere
  • Irritable
  • Rapid breathing
  • Using accessory muscles of breathing-in, drawing of muscles at the neck when breathing it may look like the skin is being tugged in. If you see this, your child must be assessed by a healthcare provider.

Observe your child for any of the following indicators of Severe Asthma:

  • Pale looking or bluish looking skin- anywhere
  • Breathless
  • Irritable
  • Peak flow less than 50% of personal best
  • Using accessory muscles of breathing-in, drawing of muscles at the neck when breathing it may look like the skin is being tugged in. If you see this, your child must be assessed by a healthcare provider.

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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.

Include Ginger In Your Diet

Just like garlic, ginger has anti-inflammatory qualities too. A study conducted in 2013 showed that ginger supplements were able to ease symptoms of asthma. Having some ginger daily can help you get some relief. Add ginger to your tea during winters. You can also add ginger while cooking your food and reap its benefits.

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Tests Of Bronchial Hyperreactivity

When spirometry is normal, but symptoms and the clinical history are suggestive of asthma, measurement of airway responsiveness using direct airway challenges to inhaled bronchoconstrictor stimuli or indirect challenges may help confirm a diagnosis of asthma.

Tests of bronchial hyperreactivity should be conducted in accordance with standardized protocols in a pulmonary function laboratory or other facility equipped to manage acute bronchospasm. Bronchopovocation testing involves the patient inhaling increasing doses or concentrations of an inert stimulus until a given level of bronchoconstriction is achieved, typically a 20% fall in FEV1. An inhaled rapid-acting bronchodilator is then provided to reverse the obstruction. Test results are usually expressed as the provocative dose or provocative concentration of the provoking agent that causes the FEV1 to drop by 20% . For methacholine, most pulmonary function laboratories use a PC20 value less than 4-8 mg/mL as the threshold for a positive result indicative of airway hyperreactivity, supporting a diagnosis of asthma. However, positive challenge tests are not specific to asthma and may occur with other conditions such as allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Therefore, tests of bronchial hyperreactivity may be most useful for ruling out asthma among individuals who are symptomatic. A negative test result in a symptomatic patient not receiving anti-inflammatory therapy is highly sensitive .

What Are The Symptoms Of An Asthma Flare

Treating Your Childs Allergies and Asthma at School

Common symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath , a feeling of tightness in the chest and wheezing. Its important to watch yourself every day for symptoms of asthma. You may have only one or two of these symptoms.

Another clue that your asthma is flaring up is that you have to take extra doses of your quick-relief asthma medicine more than twice a week because of these symptoms.

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Schedule A Flu Shot For Your Child

Even in kids who have mild asthma or well-controlled symptoms, the flu can be a serious infection. Thats because in people with asthma, the airways are more swollen and sensitive, and the influenza virus can cause more inflammation of the airways and the lungs. According to the CDC, the flu can trigger asthma attacks and flare-up of symptoms, and increase risk for developing other respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.

An influenza vaccine is a must because it can reduce your childs risk of getting sick in the first place. You can get one from your childs doctor or a local pharmacy any time, ideally every autumn.

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Use A Peak Flow Meter

A peak flow meter is an inexpensive handheld gadget. You use it to measure how fast air comes out when you exhale hard after a full breath in. This number is called a peak expiratory flow .

Your doctor may want you to use a peak flow meter to help you recognize signs of trouble. Many asthma symptoms result from not being able to move air out of your lungs. If your PEF goes down, that’s a sign that your asthma is getting worse and that you need to do something.

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Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu…Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015’s Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan Jody’s voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

Preparing For Your Childs Visit To Your Healthcare Provider

How will Asthma UK research help children with asthma?

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.

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Mucus Postnasal Drainage & Cough

The membranes that line your nose, throat and bronchial tubes are very sensitive. Normally, they secrete up to two liters of mucus a day to moisten and protect themselves. When these membranes become irritated, congested, and swollen, they secrete an extra amount of mucus. This mucus helps to protect the lungs and nose from irritating particles and infection.

If you have asthma, your membranes are more sensitive to irritants, such as smoke, cold air, strong odors and dust, causing them to secrete more mucus than normal. Infections may cause even more congestion, mucus, and discomfort. However, increased mucus or yellow mucus does not always mean that an infection is present. Check with your physician if you have more mucus than usual or if it is green or yellow-colored.

Use Unscented Home Products

Fragrances and strong scents are another trigger for this common condition. Using unscented home products will do wonders for your childs breathing. There are several types of unscented home products available. Consider swapping your scented floor cleaners, all-purpose cleaners and detergents for non-scented alternatives.

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Make Sure You Have A Written Asthma Action Plan

Work with your child’s healthcare provider to develop a written plan for managing symptoms and handling emergencies. “It’s all about empowering the family to do the right things,” says Schroeder. Keep a copy on hand and make sure your child’s school nurse has one too.

A good written plan should be simple and understandable, but should also contain details on how to monitor your child’s asthma, what to do when your child doesnt feel well or experiences a flare-up, how to adjust their medication, and when to see the doctor, says Harold J. Farber, MD, professor of pediatrics in the pulmonary section at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

How Is Asthma In Children Diagnosed

Get Help From Your Pediatrician If Your Child Has Asthma

Asthma is often difficult to diagnose in infants. However, the disease can often be diagnosed in older children based on the childs medical history, symptoms, and physical examination, and on certain tests:

  • Medical history and symptom description: The healthcare provider will ask about any history of breathing problems your child may have, as well as a family history of asthma, allergies, a skin condition called eczema, or other lung diseases. Be sure to describe your childs symptoms in detail, including when and how often these symptoms have been occurring.
  • Physical exam: During the physical examination, the doctor will listen to your childs heart and lungs.
  • Tests: Many children will have a chest X-ray and pulmonary function tests, which measure the amount of air in the lungs and how fast it can be exhaled . The results will help the provider determine how severe the asthma is. Children younger than 5 are usually unable to perform pulmonary function tests, so doctors rely heavily on history, symptoms, and physical examination in making the diagnosis.

The doctor may order other tests to help identify particular asthma triggers, including allergy skin testing and blood tests.

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How Can I Help My Child Live With Asthma

You can help manage your childs asthma by:

  • Finding out your childs triggers and keeping him or her away from them.
  • Giving your child medicine as directed to prevent symptoms.
  • Creating and keeping an Asthma Action Plan.
  • Closely watching asthma signs and symptoms to know when they are getting worse.
  • Knowing what to do when asthma gets worse.

Work with your childs healthcare provider to find the best way to take care of your childs asthma. There are guidelines for children from newborn to age 4, ages 5 to 11, and ages 12 and older.

The more information a person with asthma has, the better the asthma can be controlled.

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