Asthma is a respiratory disease that affects breathing ability. It is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by irritated and swollen lungs and airways. Swelling of airways prevents free flow of air and this causes the child to wheeze while breathing. They even try hard to gasp in more air. Though the symptoms of asthma sound to be dangerous it is very easy to keep the symptoms under control with a right action plan. Here are 10 tips to prevent your child’s asthma attacks.
- Identify the triggering agent: To use right medications it is essential to identify the triggering agents. In few children extreme cold initiates asthma attack while in few other children contact with allergens such as pollen initiate an asthma attack. You can protect your child from those worst asthma attacks by identifying the triggering agent.
- Use asthma controllers: If your child is diagnosed with uncontrollable asthma then it is highly recommended to keep him on asthma controllers to prevent repeated attacks. Generally doctors prescribe steroids that reduce swelling and inflammation of the airways so as to save your child from wheezing. Whenever there is an attack use quick relievers such as albuterol to prevent it from becoming worse.
- Keep the house and surroundings free of allergens: Allergens such as the dust mites, pet dander and secondhand smoke initiate asthma attack in many children. Hence, keep your child away from them. If you smoke, make sure that you do not smoke when your child is near you. It is better to quit the habit. If you have home pets, keep them out of the house to prevent your child’s exposure to pet dander. Molds which grow in damp areas of the house also trigger asthma attack. Hence, make sure that plenty of sunlight enters in to the house. In winter season consider using a humidifier. If there is any leakage in the house get it repaired immediately as they are the grounds for mold growth. If you observe any mold growth in the house, clean the area with soap water.
- Do not expose your child to outdoor air pollutants: Air pollutants increase the risk of asthma attacks. Hence, limit your child’s outdoor activity to prevent asthma activity. Allow them to play outdoors early in the morning during summer season. However, if the local weather reports show that the surrounding air quality is good you can allow them to play outdoors. But, have an eye on them and if they develop asthma symptoms limit the outdoor activity.
- Talk to your doctor: get the child examined regularly so as to assess his levels of symptoms. This will be helpful to use right dosage of medicine. Too large or too small dosage can be harmful to the child. Make sure to follow the action plan suggested by the doctor.
- Keep them away from fireplace: Fire place and the appliances that burn wood, kerosene or gas emit nitrogen dioxide that irritates the eyes and also causes shortness of breath. Hence, make sure that the emissions from these appliances are expelled outside. Make it a habit to use the exhaust fan whenever you cook. If you use heater to keep the house warm, make sure to use the right fuel. If there is a fireplace at home, do not forget to open the chimney flue before lighting the fire. If none of these work avoid using those appliances and consider of alternative ways for keeping the room warm.
- Avoid contact with chemical irritants: Chemicals present in perfumes, cleaners, paints, pesticides, air fresheners, cosmetics and adhesives may irritate the child’s airways. Hence, keep the child away from them to prevent asthma attacks. If you wish to use perfumes or air fresheners consider using those prepared from natural extracts to reduce the risk. However, make sure that the child is not sensitive even to those natural products. Sometimes, the child may develop asthma attacks to air fresheners that are used daily. In such cases, open the doors and windows immediately to let the fresh air flow inside the room. Switch on the exhaust fan to let the inside air go out of the room. Before purchasing any of these products make sure to read the label to find out if it has any chemicals that your child is allergic to.
- Keep their teachers informed: To prevent the risk of asthma attacks inform the teachers at school and the caretakers about their asthma symptoms. Give them the details of the medications to be used immediately whenever they develop the symptoms. Make sure that all the asthma medications your child uses are listed in the school medical record. This would be helpful to give timely medical help. Give contact information of your child’s doctor to the school authorities.
- Practice physical activity: Even children with asthma can participate in physical activities such as sports or other workouts to which their health co-operates. Many parents fear that physical activity would worsen the breathing trouble. But, it helps to keep the symptoms under control. However, restrict physical activity if the child shows any asthma symptoms. It is safe to involve the child in mild physical activities as long as he is on control medications and the symptoms are under control. Talk to the doctor to know the activities your child can participate without any stress.
- Give them a supportive hand: To prevent asthma attacks give your child all the required help so that he follows the action plan without fail. Make arrangements for indoor playing if the child is allergic to outdoor pollutants. This would help to keep the child active.
If the child is too young to follow the mentioned tips it is the responsibility of the parents to explain them the benefits of following the action plan with patience and see that they follow the preventive measures effectively. Spend more time with the child so as to identify the triggers and give them the required assistance. Teach them how to take the medications so that they can use them whenever required without waiting for help.