Asthma impacts a large number of children in the United States. In fact, over 6 million children have asthma. Of those 6 million, over half have suffered an asthma attack or episode. This can be really scary for both parents and children. Having a game plan for your child is important if they have an asthma diagnosis. Preparation is key so educating your child about asthma is the first step.
Educating Your Child About Asthma
It’s important to have a conversation with your child about their diagnosis. The conversation will look different based on how old they are as it needs to be age-appropriate. Below are some of the main points to consider for a child of any age.
Talk with your child about communicating any symptoms they feel. This needs to be discussed gently as you do not want to worry them. However, it’s important that they know to come to you about their symptoms in case of an emergency. If they are young you can share what symptoms they should report to you so they aren’t confused or overly worried.
Talk with your child about their medicines. In the case of an asthma attack or episode, this can help them understand what medicines can help them find relief. Depending on their age, this conversation may differ. However, you’ll want to explain how to use each medicine and what it does. This can help provide your child with relief as asthma attacks can be really scary without a lot of information.
Sometimes kids with asthma may feel isolated. Talk with them about how many kids are impacted by the condition. You can also find someone famous who they admire that has asthma so they can see that anyone can be impacted by asthma.
Keeping a diary on each asthma attack is important for your child’s medical team. No matter what age your child is, both you and your child can work on this. Getting a good system down is key, but focus on the 4 W’s. The 4 W’s of an asthma attack include when, where, what, and why. Note down when the asthma attack happened, where your child was, what they were doing right before the asthma attack, and the possible reason why they may have had the attack. Keeping an organized list of the 4 W’s of every asthma attack can drastically benefit the health of your child as it can reveal important patterns and triggers.
If your child is in school or if they decide to spend time without the family, it’s important to have a game plan. Talk with your child about how they should handle a potential asthma attack. Talk with the chaperone or adult who will be around and let them know about the situation, what to do, and what number to call if any issue arises.
If you are concerned that your child has asthma, it’s important to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan to ensure your child stays healthy. Contacting a pediatric pulmonologist in Staten island for an appointment is a great first step. Because children are especially vulnerable to infections as they grow, it’s vital to have a plan for your child’s respiratory health. A large part of a child’s world is physical activity which makes it all the more important for them to feel like they can reach their full potential. Being held back by coughing or other respiratory issues can make children feel left out and isolated amongst their peers. Instead of worrying about your child’s health, contact Dr. Mayank Shukla at his advanced asthma institute today for an appointment!