- Kids Health
How You and Your Child Can Take Control of Your Child's Asthma
As a parent your natural instinct is to protect your child. If your child suffers from asthma, you feel frightened and vulnerable as you witness an asthma attack. When your child suffers from frequent asthma attacks, you have to keep a positive attitude. You will need to learn to control your emotions and how to take control of the situation to help your child. In any situation, your child looks to you for guidance. This is the main reason you must remain calm, positive and in control, in order to best assist them in this situation.
Taking Control: Understand Asthma and Its Triggers
Asthma is an illness in which the airways in the lungs constrict and narrow making it difficult to breath. There are many causes or ‘triggers’ of an asthma attack. It can be as simple as breathing something which will induce the attack. Some of these 'triggers' are pollen, dust, pollution, perfumes, cold air, and cigarette smoke. Some asthma attacks can be brought on by certain foods, and even emotions. Yes, that’s right. Some emotions, such as fear or stress, can trigger an episode or intensify the attack. If you child has had an infection or inflammation in the lungs, it can be followed by asthma attacks. Even normal everyday exercise can trigger the attacks.
Recognizing the Signs of an Impending Attack
Asthma attacks can begin gradually or abruptly. Shortness of breath is often the first sign of an attack. A child may also cough, wheeze, or pant as they try to talk. If you learn the signs of an attack, you can help your child before it worsens. Not being able to get your breath is a scary situation for anyone, but especially a child. Even though you may feel alarmed, you have to remain calm for your child’s sake. If your child senses your feelings, they may panic and hyperventilate.
Teaching your child to take control
As a parent of an asthmatic child, you have six extremely important points you will need to share with them. They will need to know how to take control of their condition, prevent attacks, seek help at school or other functions (when you're not with them), use medication correctly, recognize when medical help is needed, and take responsibility. Your child needs to learn to control their condition rather than it controlling them.
Learning About Asthma Medicines
First, in order to help your child take control, you must thoroughly understand their medication. You need to know how it works, and how it needs to be administered for effectiveness. Once you’ve learned this, then you have to pass the information on to your child. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your child, always explain the why and how. Even though they seed to understand the severity of their condition, be very careful not to make them afraid. You need to get your child to talk about when they feel must vulnerable due to their asthma. One of the things your child needs to understand is the importance of taking their medication at the appropriate time. If physical activity brings the onset of an asthma attack, your child needs to know they need to stop their play or exercise in order to control the situation.
Preventing Asthma Attacks and Showing Confidence In Your Child
Now concentrate on prevention, your child needs to understand how to prevent an attack. Here comes the communication again. You will need to find out from your child what triggers the attack. You will always need to show confidence in your child and let them know you have confidence in them. This will help your child to control their asthma. Your child needs to fully understand their condition, but always inform school officials or activity directors for extracurricular activities of your child’s asthma.
Always ensure your child fully understands when and how to properly use their medication. If your child is prescribed preventative or maintenance medication, help them to establish a daily routine for taking their medication. When your child is prescribed an inhaler, ensure they know how to properly use it and when it is appropriate to use it. You child needs to understand it should not be used as a last resort.
Learning When to Ask for Assistance
Sometimes a child with asthma has a hard time of understanding when they need to communicate with someone for help. You have to reinforce with your child the importance of understanding when they will need to ask for assistance. You have to help your child overcome their fears of letting someone know they are losing control over their asthma and need help.
As A Parent-Learn When to Seek Medical Attention
As a parent of a child with asthma, you definitely need to know when it is appropriate to seek medical help. Just remember, never let your child see fear. Always remain in control no matter how scared you may be. If your child senses or sees your fear, this will cause them to panic. When they see you panic, then they panic, and it creates more of a problem with their breathing. You must remain calm and in control. If your child’s medication has not seemed to give them any relief then seek medical attention. Most medications should show some signs of relief after first being administered. Always remember to heed the warning signs
Summary: Prevention Plan Communicated Effectively
When passing on information to your child, be careful not to alarm them. As a small child, it’s difficult sometimes for them to understand. However, you have to get them to understand without scaring them. As they grow older, they understand more easily.
Your child needs to learn how to avoid the asthma 'triggers'. As you learn the allergens which cause your child's attack, explain to them how they can avoid these. Ensure your child avoids cigarette smoke. Thoroughly explain to your child why they need to avoid cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke places your child at a greater risk for an asthma attack. Another prevention method is to have regular visits to a doctor. These visits keep their prescriptions and treatment up-to-date to keep the attacks from occurring more frequently. As the parent of an asthmatic child, your main priority is the well-being of your child.