Asthma is one of the most common childhood illnesses. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 6.2 million children under the age of 18 have asthma. As a result proper identification, treatment, and management of asthma is essential in children, especially during their early, rapid growth years. At Sunrise Pediatric Clinics, we partner with parents to ensure all available tools are employed in managing each asthma patient.
Keys to a successful asthma management plan are the following:
- Early identification that a child has asthma
- Frequent and scheduled monitoring of lung function
- Employing steps to identify and avoid asthma ‘triggers’
- Identification of appropriate medications and patient training in their proper use and frequency.
Asthma symptoms in children can mimic colds and flus. In addition, symptoms may be different from episode to episode as well as between children. Nevertheless, things to watch for include:
– Neck or chest muscle tightness
– Lack of energy / feeling tired or weak
– Child complaining of tightness or pains in chest
– Wheezing when breathing / shortness or loss of breath
– A chronic cough as well as coughing spells during play, while laughing or crying, or during the night
These or any illness or activity that causes your child to have difficulty breathing should be brought to the attention of your pediatrician so he or she can conduct proper testing. These symptoms may come and go and may be more prevalent during allergy season or after strenuous activity. It is important to discuss these or any concerning symptoms with your pediatrician.
CONTROLLING ASTHMA TRIGGERS
Asthma triggers are events or things that bring on or worsen an asthma episode. These can include activities such as strenuous play or allergic reactions to pollens or other allergens. Work with your pediatrician or other of our staff to understand what these triggers are and what countermeasures might be available to reduce asthma risks.
– Respiratory infections such as colds or flu
– Respiratory irritants such as tobacco smoke, dust, pollution, or other airborne contaminants
– Allergens or allergy-causing agents such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or other airborne substances
– Strenuous activities such as running and playing or intense emotional events such as crying or laughing
Should your child have asthma, discuss possible triggers with your pediatrician, and what can be done to reduce the exposure possibilities. For example, if your child is allergic is pet dander, it would make sense to remove any pets you may have in your house.
Allergy Action Plan
Many students are allergic to various foods or other materials. The Allergy Action Plan is used by the school to help monitor activities as well as allow the students to self-administer medications. The parent, student, and physician must work closely with the school to ensure the health and well-being of the student during the time they are in school. At Sunrise, we will assist you with questions, help complete the forms, and advise as to the proper treatment plan for your student.
PATIENT MONITORING AND MEDICATIONS
Identifying asthma in children under five can be difficult although tests are available to assist the physicians to make an accurate assessment. In addition, a range of medications are available should asthma is diagnosed. Also, if your child has been diagnosed with asthma then careful, scheduled monitoring should be followed per the advice of your physician.
It is vital to work with the medical staff at Sunrise Pediatric to develop an asthma management plan. This plan can serve as the basis for completing any school asthma management forms, which will advise school officials the best ways to assist your child should that be necessary. It also should be given to family, friends, sitters and others that may keep your child.
Asthma can be serious and even life-threatening. Irritants may trigger an attack during which breathing becomes very difficult. In the event, inhalant measures do not work or are not available it may be necessary to go to the emergency room. The sooner an attack is recognized and action taken the better. And, if it is not possible to stop the attack, be sure to get to an emergency room as soon as possible. Once your child is under the care of emergency room personnel, be certain to contact your Sunrise pediatrician who will be able to provide advice.
Asthma is a common illness among children, but with the help of Sunrise Pediatrics’ medical staff, the disease can be managed and controlled.
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