Finding out your child has asthma is scary. Take some comfort in the fact you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in 10 kids suffers from asthma. Now that you’ve discovered what is causing your child’s coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, you can take steps to help control the situation.
Watching your child struggling to breathe while doing everyday tasks is heartbreaking. Parents often feel helpless when their child experiences an asthma attack. The good news is that you can take several measures to help prevent a flare-up. Follow the helpful tips below and learn more about what to do when your child is diagnosed with asthma.
Make Sure Your Child Receives Proper Medications
Make sure your child takes medications as prescribed. Some kids may need daily medications to keep their asthma under control. These medications help keep the airways from becoming inflamed so that your child breathes easier and experiences fewer attacks. On the other hand, doctors often also recommend quick-relief medications for use only when your child has a flare-up.
Many doctors prescribe an inhaler or nebulizer to treat asthma symptoms as these devices get the medicine directly into the lungs. However, pills and liquids are also common. Your child may also need to take antihistamines for allergies that trigger flare-ups. In addition to always using medications as recommended by the doctor, you and your child need to know how to use them properly.
Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
The quality of the air inside your home makes a big difference to someone with asthma. You can take many actions to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Opening the windows for a few minutes each day goes a long way to improving your home’s indoor air quality.
If you have someone who smokes in your family, make sure that person smokes outdoors only. Other great ways to improve indoor air quality include bringing air-filtering plants into your living spaces, vacuuming at least once a week, using a humidifier and dehumidifier, and replacing commercially scented products, such as air fresheners and cleaners, with unscented natural products.
Avoid Asthma Triggers
Identify the triggers that cause your child’s asthma to flare up and do your best to avoid them. For some children, pollen is a major trigger in the spring. Other common triggers include weather changes, animal dander, cigarette smoke, viral infections, or mold. Since you can’t always easily figure out what’s triggering a flare-up, many doctors will send children for allergy testing to help find those triggers.
Have an Action Plan for Handling Asthma
Work with your doctor to write an asthma action plan that’s tailored to your child’s needs. Begin with a list of the medications your child takes, how to use them, and when to use them. Include information about how to avoid triggers and what to do if a flare-up occurs. Track your child’s asthma symptoms so that you can recognize the difference between a flare-up you can manage at home and one that requires emergency medical attention.
If you’re wondering what to do when your child is diagnosed with asthma, you’re not alone. Use this guide to better understand your child’s needs and how you can help prevent an asthma flare-up.