5 Tips for Managing Your Child’s Asthma
Controlling your child’s asthma means you need to partner with their pediatrician. Here are 5 tips for developing an asthma action plan.
Some children suffer from asthma episodes during soccer practice. For others, their symptoms flare up in the middle of the night. Whether it happens during play or at rest, it’s difficult for parents to see their children coughing and struggling to breathe or speak.
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These frightening symptoms of childhood asthma can be well controlled, but learning how to best partner with your pediatrician may require time, patience and a lot of good communication. You can help your doctor develop an effective “asthma action plan” with these five tips:
The best way to develop an effective treatment plan for your child is to come to appointments prepared to talk about your child’s progress, says John Carl, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
This means being ready to talk about:
Exposure to tobacco smoke before and after birth is a risk factor for childhood asthma. In addition to second-hand smoke, parents should look carefully around their home for anything that could trigger asthma symptoms, including:
You need to be ready if your child’s treatment is not working if he or she experiences any of the following:
If your child has required multiple courses of oral steroids, it’s time to talk to your doctor about developing a new preventive treatment plan. Dr. Carl says it’s time for a new plan if:
Preventive – or “controller”– medicines do not immediately relieve symptoms in the same way that rescue inhalers do, but will help if used consistently over the long-term.
Dr. Carl urges parents to make sure their pediatrician fully explains what to expect from each medication so they don’t grow impatient and frustrated if results aren’t immediate. Good communication with your pediatrician is essential for achieving optimal asthma care.