Asthma affects about six million American children, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Because of its lung-constricting, potentially life-threatening symptoms, kids miss school, sports, daycare, and more.
If your child has asthma, you need to control its symptoms, so lung health improves in the long term. Let’s talk about how you can manage asthma symptoms in children and where you can go in Purchase, NY, for outstanding pediatric care.
Reasons For Asthma
Heredity definitely plays a role in the development of asthma. If a child has asthmatic parents or siblings, the chances are greater that he or she will develop it.
Additionally, environmental factors contribute to asthma, including:
- Outdoor and indoor pollution, including cigarette smoke
- Stress and high emotions, including laughing and crying
- Cold temperatures
- Allergic triggers, such as animal dander, pollen, foods, and more
- Acid reflux disease, or GERD
Symptoms of Asthma in Children
Symptoms of asthma in children can range from mild to moderate to severe. Inflammation of the trachea, bronchi in the lungs, and tiny sacs called alveoli underlie all asthma symptoms; reduction of that inflammation is key to asthma control.
Symptoms of asthma in children include:
- Audible wheezing
- Persistent coughing, particularly during the night
- Shortness of breath
- Mucus production
- Chest tightness
- The pale complexion and dark circles under the eyes
- Rapid heart and respiratory rate
How to Improve Lung Health?
While asthma in children is a serious health problem, it can be managed with the help of your pediatrician in Purchase, NY. After a complete physical exam in her office, your child’s doctor can recommend ways to manage asthma symptoms and actually improve your child’s lung health.
Here are some of the most important asthma management strategies.
Bring your child to Westchester Park Pediatrics for regular check-ups.
Your child’s doctor will review asthma symptoms, update vaccines (including an annual flu shot) as needed, listen to breath sounds, and more. Prescriptions can be updated or adjusted during this visit, too.
Avoid allergic triggers.
Your pediatrician may include allergy testing as part of your child’s asthma management plan. With these findings, you and your child will know what substances to avoid to reduce symptoms. Also, your child may need allergy medications–either orally or in the form of shots.
Particularly in warm weather, your child can become dehydrated very easily, thus increasing the level of histamines in his or her system. Histamines are markers of allergic and asthmatic reactions. So, make sure your child drinks several glasses of water a day.
Make sure your child uses prescription medications as directed.
Most children with asthma use a corticosteroid inhaler to control chronic lung inflammation. A rescue inhaler that opens constricted bronchi in the lungs helps with sudden symptoms. Follow the directions properly.
Have an asthma action plan.
Asthma symptoms may occur suddenly. So, inform your child care center, school nurse, sports coach, and others about what to do if your child has an attack. Your school nurse may ask you to provide a spare inhaler to keep in the health office.
Additionally, try to track your child’s symptoms by keeping a journal. Symptoms can build up over time. Also, discuss the journal entries with your pediatrician so she can recommend ways to avoid flare-ups.
Asthma Management with Your Pediatricians in Purchase, NY
At Westchester Park Pediatrics, our five board-certified pediatricians are passionate about your child’s growth, development, and overall health and well-being. They understand asthma, and they help families customize ways to control symptoms and improve lung health.