advertisement

Asthma

11 June 2019

5 tips to manage your child's asthma

Understanding and managing your child's asthma can curb and even prevent asthma attacks.

For many children with asthma, coughing is an early warning sign of a flare-up, an expert says.

Understanding asthma and knowing what to expect can help parents prevent or lessen the severity of asthma attacks, said Dr Ronald Ferdman, a paediatric allergist-immunologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

With proper management, children with asthma can exercise normally, sleep well at night, attend school and avoid the emergency room. Parents shouldn't settle for less, Ferdman said.

He provided the following tips to help parents protect their children's health:

Know the triggers

It's important to minimise children's exposure to asthma triggers you can control, such as tobacco smoke, dust and pet dander. Colds and weather changes are out of your control, but knowing they can exacerbate asthma can keep you ahead of flare-ups.

children with asthma

Don't limit physical activity

In general, it's better to give children a dose of their quick-relief medication (albuterol or levalbuterol) before they exercise and sometimes afterwards.

children with asthma

Be prepared

Store quick-relief medicine at every location where your child spends time, including school, home or day care. Refill these prescriptions before they run out.

children with asthma

Don't wait to medicate

Any respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, may be an early sign of an asthma flare-up. Don't wait until a child is wheezing to give asthma medication. It is safer to give children a dose of their rescue medicine early – even if it's not entirely clear if their asthma is flaring up – than to wait until symptoms become severe. Lung infections are the most common trigger of asthma attacks in children. Kids with asthma should get a dose of their quick-relief medication as soon as they develop symptoms of a cold.

children with asthma

Stick to the treatment plan

Taking controller (preventative) medication each day is the most effective way to control chronic asthma. Children should take this medication even if they don't have symptoms. This simply means their treatment is working. Stopping this medication without talking to a child's doctor is risky.

children with asthma

Image credit: iStock

 

Ask the Expert

Asthma Expert

Professor Keertan Dheda has received of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, and has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers and holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies. He serves on the editorial board of the journals PLoS One, the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine, Lancet Respiratory Diseases and Nature Scientific Reports, amongst others.Read his full biography at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules