If your child suffers from asthma, it is important to know how to best help your child in the case of an attack. When your child has an asthma attack, their breathing patterns will change. Often, they start breathing at a rapid rate, which increases their anxiety levels. In order to reduce their anxiety, regulating their breathing is necessary. Breathing techniques are an effective means of calming the state of your child, until you can get them in to see your children’s asthma doctor. Listed below are the most effective techniques, specifically for children, and how to best utilize them.
Blow a Bubble
This technique works particularly well for very young children as it is an activity they are already familiar with. Teach your child to pretend they are blowing a bubble through a bubble wand. You can even keep a spare bottle of bubble mix in your purse in case of an anxiety attack. Instruct your child to slowly blow a bubble. The technique mimics deep breathing exercises known to calm down anxious breathing, but does so in a way that your child will understand. Have them take a moment to rest between each time they blow a bubble. Only a few moments rest is necessary, but this will prevent them from becoming out of breath. Continue the bubble blowing exercise until their breathing rate has started to decrease. The benefit of this technique is that it can be used anywhere.
Make sure your child knows this breathing technique is for calming their anxiety and not just an activity. That way, if they are ever faced with a situation on their own, they know they can blow a bubble to help themselves calm down.
Smell the Roses
Another great technique to regulate a very young child’s breathing is the smell the roses technique. Have your child pretend they are inhaling the scent of their favorite flower. The familiar concept will teach them how to breathe both deeply and slowly. It will slow down their heart rate and help them to calm down. Repeat the breathing exercise until your child has returned to a more level state of breathing. Make sure they are inhaling fully when taking each breath.
Again, like the previous technique, make sure the child knows that this is a calm breathing technique, not just a make-believe activity.
If your child is older and can better understand the nature of their asthma, you can explain to them the concept of deep breathing exercises. The idea behind deep breathing exercises is to create a regularized slow breathing pattern. The process of breathing in a controlled and slow manner helps to combat their anxiety and return their heart rate to a regular pace. They should begin by taking a deep breath in, expanding their diaphragm for five seconds, have them count the time so it becomes regularized. Next, they should hold their breath for two seconds and then release on a count of five. The time pattern should be:
5 2 5
This process should be repeated until your child can feel their breath becoming regulated. The control will keep your child calm.
Children’s Asthma Doctor in New York City
Asthma can be extremely disrupting to your child’s daily life, if you don’t take the proper precautions. For more information on potential treatment options, contact Doctor Mayank Shukla. Doctor Shukla specializes in respiratory medicine and is an expert children’s asthma doctor. Our experienced staff takes pride in making every patient that walks through our door feel like family.