If you are the parent of a child with asthma, you know all too well the feeling of helplessness that can overtake you when an attack occurs. Fortunately, with proper pediatric intervention, medication, and an overall awareness of potential triggers, the condition can be successfully monitored and regulated.
But there are some things about asthma in children you may have never realized. Here are just five things to consider about this medical condition:
- It may very well be related to allergy season. A whopping 90 percent of children with asthma also have allergies. Springtime for allergic asthma sufferers can be particularly difficult due to the ensuing pollen count, and resulting hay fever. Precautions should be taken to limit exposure to potential triggers, while pediatric specialists should be able to recommend medications – such as Montelukast – which can manage symptoms long-term.
- It could be triggered by exercise. When this happens, it’s called Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB), and overexertion in cold, dry conditions is more likely to cause a reaction than working out in warmer climates. It’s not an excuse to keep your child indoors, though, but rather a good reason to plan ahead. Keep coaches and instructors in the know, and talk with your family pediatrician about medications that can prevent such symptoms.
- OTC fever medications could cause it to flare up. Approximately 5 percent of children suffer from Aspirin Sensitive Respiratory Disease (AERD), and find their symptoms worsen after taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Pain and fever medications such as ibuprofen foster the production of leukotriene in the body, which causes airways to constrict. The solution? Use Tylenol instead.
- Stress stresses allergy suffers out more. Think about it – crying causes a child to breathe heavily, which constricts the airways, potentially triggering an asthma attack. Anxiety, too, can lead to a panicked feeling that has a similar result. Talk to your doctor about ways to help your child reduce his or her stress level. Stay calm, and carry an inhaler.
- Eczema is a known precursor to asthma in children. The red patches of skin that your child has experienced since birth may be a forecast to possible asthma symptoms. Between 50-75% of children who have eczema also develop hay fever or asthma at a later date.
Asthma in children could have multiple underlying causes. At KinderMender, our trained pediatricians and nurse practitioners will conduct a thorough examination, supplemented with research regarding frequency, family history, and environment, to make an accurate diagnosis.
Breathe easier this spring. Stop by one of our four convenient locations, or call and make an appointment today.