As a parent, it can be unnerving to learn that your child has asthma. However, you need to know that the condition is very common, and manageable if not curable. Asthma is a chronic lung disease which causes breathing difficulties and affects sufferers to varying degrees. It is caused by swelling and inflammation of the bronchial tubes, sometimes in reaction to allergens, exercise, stress or changes in temperature. If asthma is controlled, then sufferers can live relatively normal lives, although some triggers may have to be avoided.
Asthma can be controlled by preventive medication for chronic symptoms and relief medication for flare-ups of asthma symptoms. Education and understanding are keys to effective control of asthma, which can be fatal if not managed properly. Your child can surely be able to sleep well at night and play any sport they want, but it needs work.
To make asthma easier on you, and help you create a normal lifestyle for your child, Satkam Divya, CEO, Klinic App suggests:
*Schedule regular doctor’s appointments
Your child’s healthcare provider can help you with a treatment plan and can re-evaluate it at each visit. You can proactively ask for tips around using an inhaler, figuring out whether a certain diet is working or ask questions around exposure to pollution and dust.
Ensure that you schedule a new appointment outside of the regular check-up schedule if you have any concerns around the treatment not working. But be patient and don’t get paranoid as that may stress the child out as well.
*Create an action plan
Work with the doctor to create a plan for managing the regular symptoms and for handling all kinds of possible emergencies. If there are other members in the family, train them to take responsibility and proactive action if they are with the child. Keep a copy of the emergency plan with you, and give one each to your family members, also to your child’s school dispensary or nurse. Check whether the school allows for keeping medicine in backpacks.
*Make your child learn how to take medication when necessary
Your child’s treatment may involve consuming a pill or using a device such as an inhaler or nebulizer. To maximise their effectiveness, your child will need to learn how to use any of these, as per the condition or situation at hand. Talk with your doctor and teach your child.
*Beat the flu
Be prepared for the changing season and for bacteria in the air. If your child has asthma and comes down with a virus, it could lead to more difficulty in breathing. An influenza vaccine can reduce your child’s risk of getting sick, and you can get one vaccination ideally every autumn, after consulting your healthcare provider.
*Avoid exposure to allergens
Allergens like certain foods, pollen or grain can give your child breathing trouble. Observe if any of these cause any difficulty in breathing for your child, and consult your doctor for best-possible medication.
Precaution is the best form of care. If you are prepared with medication and know when and how to use it, the child will be fine. Stay alert and cognisant, but learn not to panic.
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