Lt Col Reynolds
Children with asthma need the help of their parents, other caregivers, teachers, and healthcare professionals to keep their asthma under control. Dr. Green, can you tell us about the role of parents in controlling their children’s asthma?
Definitely, Dr. Reynolds. As a parent, you can help your child control his or her asthma in a variety of ways. Here are a few suggestions:
- Take your child to their provider for regular checkups and treatment.
- Make sure your child has an asthma self-management plan and that you both know how to follow it.
- Help your child learn about asthma and how to control it.
- Help your child learn what things cause their asthma symptoms and, if possible, how to avoid those things.
- Protect your child from tobacco smoke by not smoking and not allowing people to smoke in your home or vehicles.
- Reduce your child's exposure to allergens that bring on asthma attacks, like pollen, dust mites, cockroaches, or animal dander.
- If your child is old enough, make sure they know how to take asthma medications correctly. When the time is right, teach your child to use an inhaler without your help.
- Make sure that your child regularly uses a peak flow meter to help monitor their breathing.
- Encourage your child to take part in physical activity. In most cases, it's okay for children with asthma to be active.
- Talk to your child's other caregivers, teachers, or coaches about their asthma, and give them copies of your child's asthma self-management plan.
If your child has asthma, learn all you can about the disease and work with your child's provider to develop strategies to control the condition. In most cases, controlling your child's asthma will allow them to lead a normal, healthy, and happy life.
Talking to Your Child’s Provider
Consider talking to your child’s provider if you observe any of the following signs or symptoms, as they may indicate a condition other than asthma:
- Greasy, oily stools
- Failure to maintain a normal growth velocity
- Recurrent ear infections
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Unusual skin infections
- Coughs frequently when drinking fluids or eating food
- Makes a loud, high-pitched noise when breathing in or out
You should also talk to your child’s provider if your child with asthma has received two or more courses of oral steroids in a 12-month period of time. Asthma guidelines recommend that an inhaled corticosteroid be started at this point.