Asthma is a respiratory disorder and is the most common chronic (long-term) childhood disease. If you suspect your child may have asthma you probably know the classic signs to look for: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, changes in color of skin, nails, or lips, and a tightness of the chest. But also be aware there are other signs that suggest there may be a problem: nausea, lethargy, and low appetite. Also notice if your child has to hunch forward as they exhale if they are feeling short of breath. |
These symptoms of asthma can range from mild to life threatening and can be controlled by drugs and separate lifestyle changes.
This disorder is a chronic inflammatory condition in which the airways develop increased responsiveness to various stimuli and are characterized typically by bronchial hyper-responsiveness, increased mucus production, intermittent airway obstruction and frequent inflammation.
One problem with having an ill child is their inability to clearly explain how they feel. Many children feel they cannot hold their breath for the required interval and end up dramatically gasping for air. If your asthmatic child has to take medicines through a metered dose inhaler it is often best to use it with a spacer or aero-chamber.
Do you know how to deal with these situations? If you are able to provide the right asthma treatment, it might possibly save someone’s life.
You need to be prepared for an asthma attack. If your child suffers an asthma attack keep calm and resist the urge to cuddle your child. Though this is perfectly natural it will constrict their chest and make it harder for them to breathe.
Here are key facts you should know.
* So help them get into a comfortable sitting position.
* Help them use the inhaler. An inhaler is designed to deliver a specific dose of asthma medication. The medication relaxes the patient’s airways and helps restore normal breathing.
In general, you should give two to four puffs of the inhaler and then wait for about five minutes for the next dose.
* Let him know when you are about to give a puff so that he can breathe in at the same time.
Wait for several seconds before you deliver another puff. Or until he lets you know he is ready for the next one.
* Once you’ve given medication, observe the patient for several minutes. Is it getting easier for him to breathe?
* If it appears that they are not responding to the medication within ten minutes, call an ambulance. And continue to deliver about four puffs of medication every five minutes while waiting for the ambulance.
If you are driving your child to ER or a physician while they are having an asthma attack you must still buckle them into their child seat. Do not hold your child. Imagine what would happen if there was an accident.
* Stay calm throughout the episode. Talk to him calmly, to reinforce the feeling that everything is under control. This is vitally important.
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To deal with asthma effectively you have to understand the disease and understand your child. You may be tempted to let your doctor make all the decisions, but there is so much more you can do than just administer medication. You can improve the condition by making changes to the home environment, to your child's diet, to how they breathe, and to the exercise they take. The more you know about asthma the more effectively you can control it.
Copyright © Anne-Marie Ronsen
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Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
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