According to the CDC, asthma is one of the most common lung diseases in the world affecting around 8% of the US population. The illness can be particularly dangerous in children but unfortunately, treatment is more about mitigating the symptoms rather than fighting the disease itself. This requires the involvement of the entire community, from the parent to teachers or daycare facilitators, and the child as well.
You will not be around your child all the time and there are many different possible triggers of asthma. It is, therefore, essential that you teach them how to manage their asthma and spot their triggers to avoid them as soon as possible. With a few tips as outlined below, you will help your child manage their condition like a pro, thus, reducing the risk of further complications.
How to Help Your Child Spot Their Asthma Triggers
Education is the best way to help your child manage their asthma. The first step before treatment is prevention. Here are three tips to help your child to avoid asthma triggers:
Help them understand what a trigger is and why they should avoid them
With the help of your family doctor, you can have a talk with your child concerning their triggers. Try as much as possible to make the session short, interesting, and informative. Help them understand what it means for them to have the condition and why certain things will make the condition worse. Explain to them the risk of coming into contact with a trigger and why they should always inquire before visiting a new place.
Outline the common triggers
After they understand why triggers are risky to their health, you can then outline some of the most common – such as pollen, mould, smoke, dust mites, weather conditions, and exercise. For better understanding, use pictorials and audiovisuals.
Mention the common areas where to find such triggers
Finally, mention some of the typical environments where such triggers are found. For example, you can tell them to take a different route if they see someone smoking. Mention also that they should avoid playing in a field with flowers.
Helping Your Child Use Their Treatment for Asthma
Once your child has a clear understanding of the triggers, it is time to help them understand what they should do when a flare-up occurs. Here are some tips to help you with this task:
Help Them Understand a Flare-Up
Young children who are about five or six may find it a bit difficult to notice when a flare-up is about to happen. In this case, you need to explain to them how they might feel just before the onset of symptoms. You can use a previous episode to help them remember.
Have an Asthma Plan
Your child’s doctor should give you a step-by-step action plan on the medication your child needs to take, its dosage, how to spot triggers, asthma treatment between flare-ups, and other therapeutic practices. Go through the plan with your child to help them understand what their treatment lifestyle looks like. Make sure your child always carries their inhaler with them, and be sure to order new inhalers promptly.
Give Them a Medication Timetable
Not all kids take medicine to help manage their asthma. If your child needs to be regularly medicated, have a timetable that is easy for them to follow, even when you are not around. You can also give them a timer with medicine times set for reminders. Let them understand the dosages, as well as the risks of taking more or less than the prescription entails.
Teach Them How to Use Their Inhaler
Inhalers direct asthma medication directly to your child’s lungs. It is a common form of treatment for asthma and needs to be used as prescribed by the doctor. Inhalers come in quite a few different designs, so you’ll need to explain to your child how they should use their inhaler and when they should use it.
Different methods of educating your child about asthma and its treatment will apply selectively, depending on your child’s age. For children under five years, some of the tips may not apply as they are too young to understand what might be going on. However, a child from the age of six can understand how to take medication and use their inhaler. Consult your child’s doctor if you are not sure about which type of education will be relevant.
This is a contributed post