Asthma is the most common health condition children develop. It is the third most common reason children are taken to the hospital. Asthma is not a condition you can predict or have a doctor do a test to determine if your baby will develop it, however, if you and your spouse have asthma, it is likely your baby will also develop the condition.
Asthma can be a life long disease for your child, however, in some cases, children grow out of the condition or it lessens as they get older. Asthma and the likelihood of its presence in a child is something taken on a case to case basis.
Unfortunately, asthma symptoms are not as cut and dry as we would like and the triggers vary from case to case. The two main symptoms of asthma are wheezing and excessive coughing. The problem with these symptoms is other conditions can also produce the same symptoms.
A respiratory infection or a serious cold can produce coughing and wheezing. If your baby has eczema or allergies in addition to wheezing and coughing, they should be examined by their pediatrician. These combined symptoms are signs of asthma, however, the only true way to find out for sure is to have your doctor run some test.
Though there is no way to prevent asthma from happening to a child, who is susceptible to it, you can minimize exposure to elements that can trigger asthma attacks. To help minimize the onset of an asthma attack, focus on keeping your child’s exposure to dust mites, pollen, animal dander, cigarette smoke, mold, and cockroaches. Other symptom irritants are viral infections, pollutions in the air and cold air exposure. These elements can worsen asthma symptoms in children.
Once your baby has been diagnosed with asthma, the doctor will prescribe treatments to help them breathe easier and cut back on the frequency of attacks. The most common treatments are rescue inhalers and quick relievers. These medications are meant to stop an asthma attack by stopping the spasm that causes breathing to be difficult. These medications are typically administered through a nebulizer or a meter dose inhaler.
A nebulizer treatment is a ten minute treatment performed through a powered machine that takes asthma medication and converts it into a mist your child can breathe through a face mask.
A meter dose inhaler is an aerosol can inserted in a holding chamber, a long tube, with a mask attachment. The asthma medication is sprayed into the can and your child can breathe it in through the face mask. This makes administering asthma medication easy on parents. This is a quick one minute treatment.
Asthma in children can be scary, however, knowing what to look for and working closely with your pediatrician can ease the fear a bit. If your child has asthma, you want to be sure to educate all child care providers on the procedures to treat an onset of asthma with your child. With the proper knowledge and treatments, your child can live a healthy life with asthma.