One of the most common serious chronic diseases in children is asthma. Asthma in children is as common as 1 in 10 and is a common reason for hospitalizations among children. Asthma in children causes airways to become narrowed or blocked in reaction to the irritation of sensitive airways. Often times, an asthma attack can require immediate medical attention.
What causes asthma in children?
Asthma is often difficult to diagnose right away as there are other conditions that could mimic the symptoms of asthma and not all symptoms of asthma may be present in those who have it. However, the causes of asthma is well known and include:
- Family History – children who have other family members whom also suffer from asthma are more likely to develop it.
- Infections – Infections of the airways and lungs can trigger asthma in children.
- Allergies – children with allergies can sometimes bring on asthma in children.
- Tobacco Smoke – Asthma can be caused by inhaling second-hand tobacco smoke. The same can be said about cigar smoke. Tobacco usage is one of the most preventable causes of asthma in children. Plus, quitting tobacco can help to keep you alive and healthy, as well.
- Pollutants In The Air – regular or excessive exposure to pollution in the air, like car exhaust and pesticide residue, can onset or even aggravate the symptoms of asthma
- Disease – Asthma in children can also be caused by certain diseases. If your child suffers from Hay Fever, eczema, and some food allergies can increase the risk of developing asthma.
Living with asthma
Asthma in children can be characterized by an inability to participate in sports, extended physical activity, or just running around in the backyard without running out of breath and wheezing for extended periods of time without improving. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from asthma, calling your Idaho Falls pediatrician and scheduling an appointment is the first step to take. Diagnosing asthma sometimes can take awhile to complete. The reason for this is because the definitive symptoms of asthma may not be present or the child may be suffering from a different condition.
If your child has indeed been diagnosed with asthma, your Idaho Falls pediatrician will most likely prescribe medication, in some cases an inhaler, and help you create a management plan. Items in this plan may include:
- Don’t Smoke – Don’t let anybody smoke in your home, car, place of business, or at school.
- House Cleaning – dust mites, pets, dust and pollen can all accumulate in your home and if your child is exposed to it, allergic reactions and/or asthma-like reactions can manifest. If it is because of these environmental allergens that your child suffers from asthma, making cleaning a permanent of your schedule should be implemented. Keeping windows and doors closed during windy days, removing pets from the home, and regular cleaning will help to keep your child safe.
- Mold – Molds and mildews can cause asthma in children. Regular cleaning and disinfection is strongly recommended.
How is asthma in children treated?
Treating asthma typically involves creating and following an asthma action plan that can involve medications designed to help prevent and treat asthma attacks. Sometimes, only one medication may be prescribed. Other times, multiple medications may be prescribed. The reason for this is because different causes and actions of an asthma attack require different medications that affect specific parts of the irritation and reaction as well as parts of the respiratory system. Once in awhile, follow up visits may be necessary if the asthma changes or new triggers are discovered.