Dec 13, 2011

Managing Asthma attacks in children

Asthma attack is a common condition amongst young children. Some of the triggers of asthma attack include pet dander, pollen from vegetation, dust mites and certain weather conditions among others. It is important that you recognize asthma attacks during the early stages in order to effectively manage and treat the condition.

Here are some of the tips that can help you diagnose asthma attacks in your child.

Examine to see if your child is struggling with breath, especially after an exposure to a potential asthma trigger. This often occurs when the child is breathing irregularly and is distressed. Often, the child may appear as if he is trying to take unusually shallow or deep breaths. You may also observe the child trying to clutch or place his hands on the throat or chest.

Pay attention to any wheezing sounds from the child. These sounds occur when an inflammation on the airway obstructs air from passing freely. Wheezing does not necessarily mean that your child is having an asthma attack because it can also happen when the airway is irritated.

Observe the child’s cough. If he is having asthma attacks, then he will most likely cough frequently or with each breath he takes. Coughing usually occurs as a result of spasms in the lungs, signaling that the child may not be getting adequate oxygen. When the child is not getting adequate oxygen, then he may develop dark cycles or bugs underneath his eyes. Besides, the child will also be very exhausted.

Finally, observe the child for retraction and grunting noises. Retraction occurs when the chest caves in during breath and it signals that the child is experiencing severe breathing difficulty.

Managing and treating your child’s asthma.

When you observe any of the following symptoms in your child, then you need to administer a prescribed asthma medication as soon as possible. Once your child has been diagnosed with asthma, your pediatrician will recommend an asthma care plan, which will include management and treatment medication.

Closely observe the child after administering the prescribed asthma medication and call your pediatrician if you are not observing any improvement in the child’s condition. Most pediatricians provide functioning telephone lines through which you can reach them for emergency cases. If you cannot reach your pediatrician, and the condition of the child is NOT severe, then drive your child to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

You can also call 911 immediately if your child is exhibiting severe asthma symptoms and you do not have the medication at home. Again, do NOT drive the child to the hospital if the conditions are severe. Ambulances are equipped with advanced equipment that can stabilize your child if his condition fails to improve.

Make a follow up with your pediatrician once his condition has been stabilized at the emergency room. Most often, it is never possible to diagnose asthma before an occurrence of a severe attack. The pediatrician should examine the child before prescribing any other treatment plan.

Asthma attacks in children can be very frightening, especially when the child begins to wheeze and struggle with breath. In order to remain calm and avoid frightening the child further, it is important that you work together with the pediatrician in developing a treatment plan that will stop asthma attacks while preventing future ones. This treatment plan should include daily medications that include preventive medicines in their right dosages and times of use. The treatment plan should also focus on the common asthma triggers that your child should avoid as well as when you should call the doctor for an emergency response.

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