How to Treat and Live With Childhood Asthma
Has your child been diagnosed with asthma? They’re not alone. Over 7% of people under the age of 18 in the United States currently have asthma.
If you’re new to this condition, you’re probably panicking. How can you help your child manage their childhood asthma? Do they need to take any special precautions? Are there medications that you can use to help them live easier lives?
We’re here to talk about it so you can make an informed decision about your child’s health. Between lifestyle changes, medications like Advair Diskus, and more, there are plenty of ways that you can help your child manage their condition.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Lifestyle Changes Can Help My Child?
While most people only think about medication when it comes to childhood asthma, it should be supplemented with appropriate lifestyle changes. There are plenty of small changes that you can make to help your child live more comfortably and use their inhaler less often.
Make sure to have a quick-relief inhaler on hand in the event of any asthma attacks even if you follow all of these changes.
Clean More Often
When your child is diagnosed with asthma you need to do everything that you can to keep your home as clean as possible. Things that wouldn’t bother someone without asthma can still trigger asthma attacks.
Dust and dust mites are common triggers for asthma. To keep your house free of them, make sure that you vacuum at least once per week (though some children need more, especially if you have pets or a large family).
Decrease the number of pillows and stuffed animals in your home. These things can hold onto dust and they’re more difficult to clean. If you keep them, wash them with your linens on “hot.”
Mold is another trigger for asthma. It grows in damp spaces, so try to keep the humidity in your home low by using a dehumidifier. Clean around your plumbing often and check for leaks.
Know When to Stay Indoors
All children benefit from outdoor time, but make sure you know when it is and isn’t appropriate.
When it’s too hot or too cold it’s best to not do any strenuous physical activities outside (including sports or exercise). This is also true if there’s a lot of pollen in the air, or wildfire smoke and pollution.
When your child comes indoors it’s a good idea to change clothes and rinse off to get rid of any excess pollen or smells.
Take Extra Care to Prevent Illness
While all parents should take steps to make sure that their children don’t get sick, it’s more important for parents of asthmatic children.
Always encourage your family to get flu shots. Teach your child to keep their hands clean and have them tell you if they experience any signs of illness (even a small cold).
While respiratory infections aren’t fun for everyone, they exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.
Avoid and Manage Stress
Stress is a trigger for asthma attacks. This stress can come from physical exertion or emotional exertion. Make sure that your child knows stress-relief methods so they’re able to keep themselves safe.
Teach your child breathing techniques, mindfulness techniques, and emotional regulation. It’s also a good idea to get them involved in some kind of calming recreational outlets such as yoga or art.
Avoid Strong Smells
We all love the smell of scented candles, perfumes, incense, and air fresheners, but when you have a child with asthma it’s best to avoid these things until you know that your child can tolerate them.
Strong smells can trigger asthma attacks. Discontinue use of these things and avoid them in other people’s homes and in public places.
What Medical Treatments Are Available?
When your child is diagnosed with asthma, your pediatrician will make recommendations as to how best to treat it. While all children are different, your child will need an inhaler and a medication to fill it. Let’s talk about it.
How Does My Child Use an Inhaler?
You need to teach your child how to use their inhaler. Your doctor can help, but getting the hang of it will be a process and it will take a while before your child is adept at using it.
They need to be good at using the inhaler in case of emergencies.
Teach your child how to hold the inhaler. It should have the mouthpiece down and the medication cartridge up. They should put their mouth around the mouthpiece and make a tight seal with their lips.
Your child should take a slow breath while pressing the inhaler down one time, and continue breathing in until they can’t anymore. They should then hold their breath for several seconds and exhale slowly through their mouth.
Before using the inhaler, have your child shake it 10 times and check that there’s no debris in the mouthpiece.
Should I Use Advair Diskus?
Advair Diskus is one option for people suffering from asthma. It prevents symptoms associated with asthma (such as wheezing) by using fluticasone and salmeterol.
Fluticasone reduces airway inflammation and swelling while salmeterol relaxes the muscles around the airway so breathing is easier.
It’s not a quick-relief inhaler (meaning that it shouldn’t be used for asthma attacks). Instead, it should be used regularly as a preventative treatment. It should reduce the need for the quick-relief inhaler, but it isn’t a replacement. You need both.
Childhood Asthma Is Manageable
It’s normal to worry when your child is diagnosed with asthma, but with medication and several easy lifestyle changes, they’ll have no problem managing it. They’ll live just as happily as any other child.
Talk to your doctor about managing your child’s asthma with quick-acting inhalers and preventative care like Advair Diskus.
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