Does your child suffer from asthma? He or she is not alone. Asthma is the most common ongoing illness in children, according to Two Peas in a Pod medical blog. Many children may have one episode as a baby or toddler, and then outgrow it by age 3. Other kids will have asthma for the rest of their lives.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a disease that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles around the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swell. Asthma and allergies often occur together.
Asthma symptoms can start in infancy or adulthood. Developing asthma is genetic, but environmental triggers for kids who carry the asthma gene include cigarette smoke, animals, pollen, air pollution and strong scents.
How do you know if your child has asthma?
No one test can identify asthma definitively, including chest X-rays. The most common symptom is a cough. Other symptoms include nighttime coughs, labored breathing, wheezing or coughing after physical activity.
How do you treat asthma?
Besides avoiding triggers, parents need to monitor symptoms and work with the child’s pediatrician or allergist on the proper medication.
There are two basic kinds of asthma medication: Long-term control drugs and quick relief drugs.
Long-term control drugs are taken every day, even when there are no symptoms. Quick relief or rescue asthma drugs work fast to control asthma symptoms. Some of the asthma medications can be taken using an inhaler.
Call your child’s pediatrician if you think your child has new symptoms of asthma. Seek medical attention immediately if your child is having trouble breathing or having an asthma attack.
Phone the Baptist Health Line 24/7 at (270) 575-2918 if you have health questions, even if you’ve never been a patient at Western Baptist. Our nurses also can answer your questions here.