How to Stop Your Child's Asthma Attacks

Don't underestimate childhood asthma. Although it's very common, it's not something to take lightly. It's not a minor disease that can be treated casually like a cold. It doesn't go away by itself and its effects can include permanent lung damage. Unfortunately, the damage isn't always obvious, because it's silent and happens gradually over time.
By the time a parent realizes that their child is having trouble breathing, it can be too late. The damage is done and even if the child never has another major attack, her airways may be scarred, which can lead to emphysema and other lung problems in adulthood.

One of the best ways to prevent this damage is to know what triggers your child's asthma attacks. Is it dogs? Cats? Cold air? Certain foods or drinks? Wood smoke? Cigarette smoke? Or is there no clearcut trigger that you can see?

If so, you may have to be do some hard work to discover what's causing the attacks. This can involve keeping a diary of exactly where your child was in the hours before the latest asthma flare. What was he doing? What possible allergens were in the environment? Was it cold or hot where she was? Did he eat something different, highly flavored or with artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors? These can be significant triggers for asthma, especially in children. My son reacts strongly to yellow and red dye and avoids it by reading labels.

If your child is old enough, get them to help you track down their triggers. Perhaps with the help of their doctor, explain that finding their triggers can help them avoid the discomfort and treatments that they have to have when their asthma flares up. Most children hate having asthma attacks and sometimes try to avoid treatment by not telling their parent that they're having trouble breathing.

Over 4,000 people die from asthma attacks every year in this country, so getting your child to be honest about their symptoms is very important. Along with regular doctor's visits and having their rescue inhalers on them at all times, telling school personnel and friends' parents about their asthma is also very important.

If they were to have an attack at a friend's house or at school, it's crucial that someone is able to make sure that they use their inhalers and then get emergency medical aid for them. Many people who don't have asthma in their families don't understand how quickly asthmatics can go from "a little trouble breathing" to needing oxygen and injected epinephrine. A medic alert bracelet or necklace is a very good idea for asthma sufferers.

No one wants their child to suffer and watching your child struggle for breath is one of the worst experiences a parent can have. If your child has asthma, be sure that he or she has a good doctor. A pediatric pulmonologist, a children's lung specialist, is an excellent choice. Along with a good doctor, there are things you can do to help your child reduce or even eliminate asthma flares. Good nutrition, enough sleep, eliminating triggers and reducing stress are all important too.

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