Can you hear your child’s breathing? When your child takes a breath, does it sound like something is whistling inside? Does your child sometimes struggle to catch his breath, especially after exercising? Is your child’s sleep interrupted by frequent fits of coughing?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, your child may have asthma. How do you know for sure? Talk to your pediatrician.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease we see attacking the children in our community. Whether your children are infants or teenagers, they can suffer from asthma. If your child suffers from asthma, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Asthma left untreated does not simply go away; it gets worse.
Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center has created a Pediatric Asthma Clinic to care for our young patients. A key part of our program is teaching children and their parents the things they need to do to avoid flare-ups and to control asthma.
(See the Pediatric Asthma Clinic video.)
If our pediatrician diagnoses your child with asthma, you will both need to learn how to administer the medicines that control the wheezing and allow her to breathe freely. Your pediatrician will design a plan that shows your child how to monitor her breathing and take action to prevent an asthma attack. It’s critical that she takes the medication exactly as the doctor has directed. Don’t skip days. Don’t take more than prescribed.
Common Triggers for Asthma in Children
If your child has asthma, you will want to learn which things in your surroundings trigger these breathing problems. It’s not always easy to figure out what causes asthma, because different things cause problems for different people. Some of the triggers might include:
- Your dog or cat
- Sports, running, playing, and exercising
- Common colds
- Mowing the lawn
- Playing on the lawn
- Insects, especially roaches and dust mites
- Smoke, including from cigarettes and cigars
- Poor air quality, indoors and outdoors
- Cleaning supplies you use or store in your home
- Foods your child may be allergic to
- Scented oils, perfumes, and candles
- Wood shavings from woodworking
- Cold weather
- Very hot weather
- Pollens from trees, flowers, and bushes around your home
Your pediatrician will teach you and your child how to monitor how well she is breathing. Your child will use a meter that measures her air flow strength at different times of the day. When air flow levels drop, they can be a warning of an asthma attack. She will learn how to prevent this by taking her medication.
Asthma sufferers often take more than one medication. One may be taken daily to control inflammation to keep breathing passages open. Another may be for emergencies.
If your child attends school, you may also want to alert his teacher. Ask for help making sure that your child takes his medication on time during the school day.
With early detection, an asthma action plan, and a commitment to staying away from triggers and taking prescribed medications on time, your child can live a full and healthy life that is not limited by asthma.
- Meet Pediatric Asthma Clinic Case Manager Felix Dominguez.
- Learn more about our dental care for children.