Parenting a child with asthma can be a hard experience for both parents and children, alike. Even with medication, it can be hard for parents to see their child struggling to breath or have to sit out of activities during a flare up. Though these symptoms can be scary for everyone, modern medicine ensures that an asthma diagnosis does not need to limit your child’s quality of life or hinder their day-to-day life. Many children with asthma still participate in sports and lead perfectly normal lives with proper management. If you are a parent of a child with asthma, here are a few tips on caring for the child:
1. Keep Detailed Records of Your Child’s Symptoms & Diagnosis
The best way to put together an effective symptom management plan with your Castlerock pediatrician is to ensure your child’s provider has all the appropriate information necessary to make a correct treatment and management plan. Some things you should keep track of for your pediatrician is how many times your child has had wheezing episodes, what triggered the onset of symptoms, what preventive medications your child takes and whether there have been problems with consistent dosing, and how often your child requires rescue medication to treat acute asthma symptoms. You should also take note of a sick child visit, urgent care, ER visits, and/or any hospital stays your child has undergone.
2. Check Your Home and Surrounding Areas for Asthma Triggers
Take preventative measures to stop an asthma attack before they even happen. Take note of your child’s specific asthma triggers. For most asthmatic children, tobacco smoke can be a major trigger, long haired animals like dogs and cats, and certain outdoor plants and trees can also trigger an asthma attack. Some children can be triggered by certain allergens like mold, weeds, and dust. Keep an eye out for these potential triggers around your home. Once you have identified these triggers, make sure to remove them from your home and keep them out of your house as much as possible. If you are a smoker, try to avoid exposing your children to secondhand smoke as much as possible. If you can quit smoking, having a child with asthma is a good reason to do so.
3. Be Ready to Try New Medications or Treatments
If you find that your child is having to reach for their inhaler more often than usual or is requiring rescue medication more often than they normally would, it might be time to reconsider your child’s management plan and adjust their treatments. Take note of any recurring symptoms or the frequent need for oral steroids (either from your doctor or the ER).
4. Be Patient with Long-Term Treatment Plans
Some preventative medications do not completely mitigate symptoms and do not offer immediate relief like an Nasal inhaler would. Instead, they will help if used consistently over a long-term basis. Be patient with these medications and make sure your child’s doctor has fully informed you on how to administer the medication and manage the expectations of the treatments.
5. Know what Tests to Request for Your Child
There are a lot of different types of treatment plans out there. Certain doctors might be more inclined to purpose certain medications and tests over others. While it is vital that you do trust your child’s care provider in medical circumstances, it is also important for parents to understand their child’s diagnosis and advocate for them on what direction to take their diagnosis. If you believe that your child’s symptoms are continuing to get worse, your pediatrician will likely want to perform pulmonary function tests. These require your child to breathe into a small instrument called a spirometer. They could also want to perform an asthma control test, this is a questionnaire that providers will use to understand your child’s symptoms.