Treating the Child with AsthmaIf your child is one of the 1 in 10 British kids who suffer from asthma you’ll need to make sure they get proper medical attention. Asthma should always be taken seriously as it is potentially life threatening, but with the proper treatment and care, there’s no reason the asthmatic child can’t enjoy a happy, healthy and energetic childhood.
Taking your Child to the DoctorIf you’ve noticed that your child is wheezing, coughing excessively or sometimes struggling for breath, it’s essential that you get along to see your GP. The doctor will decide if asthma is to blame using various methods, such as:
- Listening to your child’s chest using a stethoscope
- Listening to the list of symptoms you’ve noticed – if you’re child is old enough, the doctor will want to hear about the symptoms from them too
- Measuring lung capacity with a peak flow monitor. Your child will just need to blow into a tube to measure how much air their lungs can push out.
Medication to Treat AsthmaChildren with asthma are prescribed an inhaler. There are lots of different kinds, but these are the main ones to look out for:
- Reliever inhalers
These are usually blue. Your child will need to use them when they start to wheeze. It will help to relax the muscles around the airways, stopping the chest from feeling so tight and making it easier to breathe.
- Preventer inhalers
These are usually brown, white, red, purple or orange. They help to prevent the airways becoming swollen and inflamed and so stop an attack from happening. It’s important that your child knows how to use their preventer inhaler properly in order to minimise the risk of an asthma attack.
Keeping your Child’s Asthma Under ControlEvery child is different, and there is no single answer to preventing each and every asthma attack. There are also lots of kinds of medication, so your doctor might want to change your child’s prescription depending on how they are getting on. There are lots of things to look out for that might mean a review of your child’s medication, such as if they’re:
- Taking their reliever medication more frequently than every four hours
- Finding their reliever inhaler isn’t working
- Taking time off school due to asthma
- Needing to take reliever medication more and more often
- Experiencing breathing difficulties
There are lots of ways to tackle asthma. Keeping in tip top health and avoiding as many coughs and colds as possible is a great place to start. Being in a smoke-free environment is a big benefit to the asthmatic child, so any parents who are smokers should make plans to stop and stop for good. If lifestyle changes don’t manage the situation, your family doctor will have various medication options to consider for your child, but once you get the medication home, it’s up to you to make sure they know how to use it properly and effectively.