Children suffering from asthma face easier inflammation of the airways and lungs when confronted with common triggers such as cold weather or allergens. While childhood asthma doesn’t actually differ in any way from asthma that adults experience, they experience unique challenges.
Annoying daily symptoms can greatly impact their life which means restriction of important nurturing factors and socialisation for children. Struggling to play outside at school, trouble sleep and missed school days can have a dramatic effect. More seriously, asthma in children is a very common cause of hospital visits because of the effect it can have on under-developed lungs.
Just like with adulthood asthma, there is no cure currently and the symptoms can progress as the child grows up. However, by adhering to the correct treatment and simple practices, your child can live normally by keeping their symptoms at bay while they grow and play as a child should.
While these may be similar to those of an adult, they may be harder to spot. Similarly, it is important to ask your child if they experienced any symptoms and how badly to get an accurate picture of the problem.
Typical asthma symptoms in children:
- Frequent coughing that gets progressively worse when suffering from an infection such as the common cold
- Shortness of breath
- Congestion and tightness in the chest
Less common symptoms:
- A whistling sound when exhaling
- Struggling to catch or recover breath when playing
- Not able to sleep because of the above symptoms
It’s important to remember that these symptoms vary between children and may also vary in severity over time.
Should I see a doctor?
You should take your child to the doctor if you suspect they have childhood asthma, which means if they have been suffering from one or a couple of the above symptoms with some severity and regularity.
If you experience more serious symptoms such as chest pain or trouble breathing, then it would be a good idea to go to the hospital.
The doctor should be able to tell you after some simple tests if your child has asthma at which point you can create an asthma plan together and discuss the best form of treatment going forward.
Similar to adulthood asthma, childhood asthma isn’t fully understood but there are some causes that are thought to factor in.
- Passed down from parents that have asthma
- Inherited ability to gain allergies
- Respiratory infection
- Exposed to a form of pollution of cigarette smoke at a young age.
Causes of symptoms flaring up are different and vary from child to child. The causes of your child’s asthma waking up are a response to a trigger. These triggers could be an infection like the flu, allergies like dust or pollen, cold weather or exercise. Keep in mind that there doesn’t necessarily have to be a trigger and symptoms can appear on their own.
While there isn’t actually a cure for asthma, in adults or children, the only thing you can do is to try and limit the exposure to triggers and thus symptoms. Here is a quick list of common practices that can work to alleviate your child’s asthma symptoms:
- Understand your child’s triggers and try to avoid them as much as possible. Once you know what they are, you can work to implement lifestyle changes to reduce exposure to them.
- Keeping your child exercising may seem counterintuitive but it is important for their overall health and actually important for the health of their lungs.
- Pay attention to other conditions that may be activating their asthma. These may be serious underlying conditions, seasonal viruses or stress.
- Keep your house tidy and free of allergens and dust mites. Your house is filled with them even if you can’t see them so make sure to wash clothes, dust and vacuum regularly.
- A Ventolin inhaler can severely limit the symptoms experienced immediately. This inhaler uses the active ingredient Salbutamol sulphate which targets beta-2 receptors found in the lungs. Stimulating them and allowing them to relax opens the airways. It is a relatively cheap alternative that your child can carry with them to school to ensure they’re always prepared when their symptoms flare-up.
You can find out more information and purchase Ventolin online here:
Caring for a child with asthma can be a scary ordeal at the beginning, but if you take the proper precautions and implement the above practices then your child can play and grow as they were intended without many asthma symptoms. Learning to deal with asthma is the key as it is a lifelong illness, so not letting it affect their day-to-day life is key.