Kiwi kids love to explore and get into everything. Unfortunately, with one in seven kiwi children experiencing asthma symptoms, the world can be full of triggers that result in attacks.
Luckily, most kids will grow out of their asthma symptoms by the time they reach their teens, although it may return for episodes when they’re adults. For the children who experience severe asthma, it can remain with them for the rest of their lives.
If you’re a parent caring for a child with asthma, it can be tough watching them struggle or knowing they can’t participate in certain activities. There are many things you can do to help your child live a full and happy life with asthma.
Recognising asthma symptoms
When it comes to recognising if your child has asthma, it can be particularly difficult in infants, as many will wheeze and cough as part of their breathing development. Most will grow out of this wheezing after the age of three. If any symptoms concern you, take your child to a doctor, but expect a diagnosis to take several months, especially if your child is young.
Your child’s asthma management plan
Together with your doctor, complete an asthma management plan for your child. The Asthma Foundation offers an excellent downloadable version. This plan covers the symptoms to look out for if your child’s asthma moves to a worse or worrying stage, and which inhalers or medicines to use.
Children with asthma are at particular risk if they get the flu, so make sure your whole family is immunised against influenza each year.
If your child lives in a home with smokers, or has frequent contact with someone who smokes, they’re more likely to get respiratory infections that could trigger their asthma. This is alongside numerous other health risks associated with children inhaling secondhand smoke.
If you want to give your child the gift of good health, then one of the best things you can do for them is to ban smoking in your home.
Assist with adherence
Help your child to remember to take their preventer medications as prescribed. When your child feels well, it’s easy for them to forget to take this medication, which will help ensure their attacks are less frequent and less severe.
There are many ideas to help with asthma adherence, such as getting the whole family involved with the routine, using star charts and other rewards, and using the SmartinhalerTM sensor and app to remind you and your child when to take medication. Talk to your doctor about more tips to improve adherence.
If your child lives with asthma, that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on anything. With careful management and support from you, they can live a full and happy life.