Asthma affects people of all ages. As parents, we deal with a wide range of issues and learning how to support our children through difficult periods is what makes us stronger—and brings us closer together. If have children with asthma, you know your job comes with a few extra challenges. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can support your children — the most important of which is knowledge.
The Best Ways to Support Children with Asthma
Here are a few tips to help you hone in on those asthma triggers:
Take the direct approach. Ask your child’s doctor what those asthma triggers are so you can minimize them in the home. Common asthma triggers are allergens such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites.
Putting HEPA filters on your home central air system and vacuum is another great way to eliminate these allergens from the air in your home. Dust regularly, keep windows closed, minimize the amount of time they spend outside when the pollen or mold count is high, and wash their stuffed animals and bedding once a week in hot water are all ways to limit possible asthma triggers.
If you have a child between the ages of 4 and 11 the ‘childhood asthma control test’ will determine if their asthma is being well controlled or not. Children 12 and older should take the ‘asthma control test’. The results of these tests will tell you how severe your child’s asthma symptoms are and pinpoint areas that can be managed.
Make sure your child is taking their medication correctly (and regularly). Ensure your child knows the difference between a long-term use medication and an emergency medication for quick relief. Witness your child using an inhaler. It’s advisable to use a medication schedule that reminds your child what they take and when. As a suggestion, plan their medication schedule around another daily regimen (like each time they brush their teeth or eat meals). Either practice will make it easier for your child to be held accountable for their own health
Work with your child’s doctor to create an asthma action plan. Share this plan with your child’s school and other caregivers so everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Is it important to share your child’s asthma action plan with them as soon as they’re old enough; the responsibility for managing their condition
It’s especially important to monitor adolescents who have asthma. Due to rapid hormone changes, anyone who only experienced mild asthma as children may actually experiment more severe symptoms in their adolescence.
It’s important to speak with your child about their condition and empower them to take responsibility for managing their asthma as soon as they’re old enough. There are many resources that can help you teach your child about their condition. For example, the American Lung Association offers a program called open Airways for Schools which helps children aged 8 to 11 learn how to manage their asthma and lead healthy, active lives.
As well, the American Lung Association has an interactive website that is a great resource for children with asthma. Lungtropolis is an interactive website designed to teach children about asthma and how to manage it. It’s also important to discuss your child’s asthma management goals with them. For example, they may want to have no limitation on the physical activity they can engage in or no time off from school due to asthma symptoms. Setting asthma management goals with your child and helping them to achieve these goals can help them feel more confident about managing their condition.
Touch base with your child’s caregivers and make sure they are all well aware of your child’s condition, particularly at your child’s School. It’s important that they know your child’s asthma triggers so they can keep your child safe while caring for them.
It is important to know what policies and practices are in place regarding asthma management. For example, what are their policies regarding students carrying and administer asthma medication. It is also important to find out what you can do in your community to improve the air quality at your child’s school.
Treating a child with asthma with Dr. Mayank Shukla
Now that you’ve got some valuable tips and tricks for supporting a child with asthma use this information to keep your child safe and healthy. For more information about how to care for a child with asthma feel free to contact us. And to schedule a consultation, be sure to visit drmayankshukla.com.