It’s a known fact that Asthma is one of the most common respiratory problems that people all over the world face. Asthma isn’t just common in adults, the respiratory problem also affects children. Just like the Asthma that occurs during adulthood, childhood Asthma can’t be completely treated.
However, there are several ways to manage childhood Asthma and lower the symptoms and the risk of flare-ups. With a proper childhood Asthma care plan, it becomes easier to lower the likelihood of the respiratory problem’s symptoms getting in the way of everyday routine such as going to school, visiting parks, and traveling.
What are the characteristics of childhood Asthma?
If you are new to caring for a child with Asthma, there are several factors you need to consider, with primary symptoms being one of the most important ones. Symptoms such as chronic coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing/ rapid breathing, and chest pain and tightness are the common characteristics of childhood Asthma. Secondary symptoms of childhood Asthma include tiredness and frequent weakness, loss of sleep due to breathing difficulty and chronic coughing, and trouble eating due to fatigue caused by frequent coughing.
As a newbie, while planning care for a child with Asthma, which of the following is characteristic of Asthma that you should know and pay more attention to?
- Symptom flare-ups
- Diet routine
- Everyday routine
The answer is all. Each of these characteristic play an important role in informing your decision on providing proper care for childhood Asthma. The first area to prioritize is symptom flare-ups or also known as Asthma attacks. It’s important to be able to know when the child is having an Asthma attack to call emergency care within the shortest time. Catching breath, difficulty in speaking, sweating more than usual, chest pain are some of the signs of Asthma attacks that you should watch out for.
Diet routine is another important part of providing proper care for childhood Asthma. The more nutrition and precisely balanced the diet, the better the immune, respiratory, and overall health of the child. Also, it is important to take into account the daily routine of the child, such as commuting to the school, playing on fields and parks, and attending extra classes such as music/dance classes.
Asthma care plan for children
Many parents and caretakers go wrong when it comes to preparing a proper care plan for the child with Asthma. It is important to know that preparing an Asthma care plan for a child isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one child may not bring good results for another child. Therefore, it’s important to first know the exact cause of symptom flare-ups in the child. Do the symptoms worsen during specific times/season of the year? Does humidity or air dryness level play a part in worsening the symptoms? Do certain places and foods pose as triggers?
It’s important to note down all the factors that cause the child’s Asthma symptoms to worsen and cause attacks. If you are a caretaker who is preparing the nursing care plan for Asthma for the child, make sure to maintain a diary to note down all the symptom triggers. You can even prepare a digital document and share it with the parents and family. This way, you can add new changes, such as adding more triggers, to the document and make the care plan more accurate and effective.
After identifying the triggers, another important part of preparing the right care plan for the Asthmatic child is to help him/her make a couple of lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes that are aligned with the symptom triggers such as staying indoors when the pollen counts are high, avoiding traveling to cold or hot and humid places, lowering exposure to dust and smoke, and avoiding strenuous physical activities help lower flare-up risks.
In many childhood Asthma cases, triggers are linked to certain foods as well. Hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined oils, processed carbohydrates, and sugar are some of the most food triggers that can cause flare-ups of Asthma symptoms. Therefore, it is also important to make the right diet changes in order to help the child best manage the respiratory condition.
It is equally important to make changes in the indoor environment, that is, inside the house. Make sure to lower dust inside the house by regularly cleaning air conditioner filters, bedding, mattresses, window coverings, and furniture. If there are pets in the house, make sure to maintain the distance from the child as pet danders are a major Asthma symptom trigger.