Understanding Kids with Asthma

Understanding Kids with Asthma

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 7 million children in the U.S. currently have asthma. Asthma is a disease that affects the airways of the lungs. Common asthma symptoms include coughing at night, prolonged coughing, fast breathing, noisy breathing or wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. Each day more than 35,000 kids miss school due to asthma or asthma-related symptoms. Asthma is not contagious and can be managed with daily medication.

There are normally two kinds of medication that can be given to children suffering from asthma. The first is a daily, preventive medication like an inhaled corticosteroid or Leukotriene modifier. The second medication should be some kind of rescue inhaler, which is to be used only during an attack.

Common Triggers and How to Avoid Them

Asthma is a very complicated disease and each patient has his or her own set of triggers, which may include:

  • Smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches
  • Pollen
  • Exercise
  • Strong odors
  • Cold weather
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Stress

It is important that children know how to handle contact with any of these triggers. Parents should make sure that their child is following the asthma action plan designed by their healthcare provider. Children should also keep their rescue inhaler with them at all times.

In the event of an attack, children should try to remain calm and take slow, deep breaths. Children should keep track of how many times they used their rescue inhaler and when their symptoms subsided. If they find it hard to walk or talk, or if their lips or fingernails turn blue, they should seek emergency medical care.

More Information about the Signs of Asthma

If your child has experienced asthma-related symptoms, see one of BayCare’s pediatric pulmonary or allergy specialists. For a physician referral, call (888) 487-0183.