How to Treat Asthma in Children?
Windowofworld.com – Asthma has different symptoms and severity for each person at different ages. Medicines and asthma triggers prevention can be prepared at home to treat asthma in children. Especially in severe asthma attacks or frequent recurrences.
Diagnosing and managing asthma in children, especially under 5 years of age is not an easy matter. Asthma in children has specifications that need to be handled differently for each age. Because, not all children have the same asthma symptoms, and these symptoms can vary from asthma recurrences that appear in the same child. Thus, it is important to recognize the detailed condition of each child with asthma.
What Are Asthma Triggers?
The exact cause of asthma is unknown. However, there are several factors that are thought to increase a person’s risk of developing asthma. The following are some of the risk factors that can cause asthma or make asthma in children worse, including genetics or birth control, air pollution, chlorine in swimming pools, and premature birth or birth weight below normal. In addition, exposure to cigarette smoke (including while still in the womb and after birth), dust, cold air, fatigue, respiratory infections that occur repeatedly and are severe (such as pneumonia, a history of skin allergies or eczema and food allergies) are also can trigger asthma. A history of family members who have certain diseases (such as asthma, eczema, hives, or rhinitis), living in urban areas with increased exposure to air pollution, obesity, sinusitis, and being male are also more at risk of developing asthma.
What Are the Signs of a Child with Asthma?
Although diagnosing asthma in children is difficult, in infants and young children there are main symptoms that indicate your baby has asthma, namely wheezing (a high or low pitched sound when exhaling), shortness of breath, and coughing. The following are symptoms of asthma that are commonly experienced:
- The cough that occurs is persistent or does not heal.
- Difficulty breathing If your child is a baby, you can detect difficulty breathing when your little one is breastfeeding or feeding him. Babies with shortness of breath will find it difficult or unwilling to breastfeed. Blue looking skin, weakness, and the child seems less active are signs of respiratory distress that should be taken to the doctor immediately.
- When they are on the move, the child looks weak, easily fatigued or tired, and often coughs.
- Short, quick breaths.
- Neck and chest muscles tighten.
- Your little one often feels tightness and discomfort in the chest.
- Repeated bronchitis can be a sign of asthma in toddlers and children.
Some of the aforementioned symptoms can be triggered or aggravated by a number of things, for example a cold or other respiratory infection; the presence of allergens (allergens) such as dust, pollen, animal dander; sports activities or activities; when giving milk / breast milk to babies; strong emotional reactions such as crying or laughing excessively; acid reflux disease; and extreme weather changes.
In some children and in certain situations, symptoms can get worse. This is characterized by gasping and rapid breathing that makes the child stammer, the child seems to be gasping when he inhales, the stomach deflates under the ribs due to difficulty in breathing, and the breathing apparatus is unable to help relieve breathing difficulties. . If some of these things happen, immediately take your child to the nearest hospital for proper treatment.
How to Treat Asthma in Children?
Asthma is the leading cause of chronic disease in children. This disease can start at any age, including as infancy but most children experience their first symptoms at the age of 5 years.
Asthma can be controlled, but not curable. The goals of treating asthma in children are so that children can continue to carry out normal daily activities, minimize symptoms and visit a doctor, and find a treatment method with the right dose and minimal side effects.
Some medications for asthma in children include:
1. Long-term asthma prevention drugs.
This group of drugs serves to prevent asthma attacks and reduce existing symptoms or control. There are several types of these drugs, namely inhaled corticosteroids (inhaled corticosteroids) for prevention of asthma attacks. These drugs are a class of drugs that are considered the best for treating asthma in the long term. Inhaled corticosteroids are widely recommended along with the LABA class of drugs to control asthma symptoms and prevent recurrence. Long-Acting Beta Agonist (LABA) or slow-acting asthma reliever is used to open narrow airways and reduce inflammation, combination inhalers to prevent asthma attacks, and leukotriene modifiers and theophylline to ease breathing by relaxing the muscles around the airways.
2. Fast-acting asthma relievers.
These drugs are usually taken only during an asthma attack, especially in severe asthma attacks, and act as a reliever. Usually also used before sports activities, if the activity is known to be one of the triggers for an asthma attack. These types of drugs do react quickly to relieve asthma symptoms, but they cannot cure it. Some types of fast-acting drugs, namely fast-acting asthma relievers or short-acting beta agonists (SABA), take effect within minutes with effects lasting up to several hours. Then there are oral and injectable corticosteroids that have the benefit of reducing airway inflammation due to asthma attacks, and ipratropium which can make breathing easier by relaxing the respiratory tract.
In addition to the medicines that are consumed, there are tools that are usually used to help facilitate breathing in children. Treatment with this assistive device is generally given four times a day for 10-15 minutes, but the frequency depends on the doctor’s recommendation. Some of these aids such as face masks that are usually used for children under four years of age, metered dose inhalers that can be used by school-age children, nebulizers which are tools for spraying high doses of medicine into the lungs. Dry powder inhalers are used for children over 4 years of age because they require deep breathing techniques.
Children with asthma can also develop upper respiratory infections. The use of antibiotics in asthma is indicated in asthma accompanied by infections such as pneumonia or ARI due to bacteria. The signs are shortness of breath accompanied by fever, thick yellow or green phlegm, the child has difficulty eating or drinking, and looks restless. The use of antibiotics needs to be adjusted to the bacteria causing the examination and doctor’s recommendations.
In addition, avoiding triggers, using medications, and monitoring everyday asthma symptoms are ways to control asthma in children of all ages. Children with asthma should always be kept away from sources of asthma triggers so that asthma symptoms do not appear.
In accompanying children who have asthma, parents need to do the following:
- Recognize and record the symptoms experienced by children. Also find out how badly the symptoms of asthma affect their daily activities.
- Detect how often asthma attacks recur.
- Identify triggers that can cause symptoms to worsen such as: cold, animal dander, dust, exercise, cigarette smoke. Remind children to stay away from triggers that can be avoided so that asthma attacks can be prevented.
- Know what to do when an asthma attack occurs, as directed by your doctor.
- Understand the different types of asthma medications and how each one works.
- With the help of a doctor, determine the right medication to treat childhood asthma.
- Note whether the treatment has been optimal in managing the symptoms that arise and reducing the frequency of asthma attacks.
- Knowing the side effects of each drug, so that children are not given drugs that exceed the dose.
- Find out how well your child’s lungs are working with a peak flow meter test kit that can be done by a doctor.
When asthma symptoms appear in your child, maybe you and those around him will feel anxious and confused about what to do, right? Therefore, to minimize the symptoms of asthma in children that will appear, there are several things you can do, including:
- Thoroughly clean your home or child’s room of dust and pet litter.
- Do not use cleaning products or household products that might irritate your child.
- Manage and use allergy medications as recommended by your doctor. Asthma treatment has different effectiveness for each sufferer, therefore the treatment of this disease needs to be supervised by a doctor with routine control and giving drugs to children as directed. Do not change the dose yourself without the doctor knowing, as this can cause harm to the child.
- Teach children about hand washing and other healthy living habits to minimize the occurrence of colds.
- Teach children about the importance of understanding and avoiding asthma triggers in them.
- Always keep an inhaler in the bag, and provide the child with an inhaler while at school or when doing activities outside the home. For older children, teach the child to use an inhaler during an asthma attack.
Tips for managing an acute attack of asthma in children
Asthma attacks can occur anytime and anywhere. Parents with children who suffer from asthma, of course, have to be ready by always keeping medicines and emergency kits for children’s asthma in case an asthma attack occurs. If some of the symptoms or asthma attacks occur in your child, there are a number of things that you or those around him can do, namely:
- Ask the child to sit up straight and comfortably, and loosen the clothes so they are not tight.
- Spray the inhaler once into the spacer. Both of these tools are special tools for spraying drugs so that asthma symptoms can be resolved.
- Ask the child to take four breaths from the spacer device. Install tools correctly.
- Spray the inhaler three more times into the spacer, with each spray the child takes four breaths each.
- Wait four minutes. If there is no improvement, repeat the steps as above by applying four more inhaler sprays to the spacer.
- If the child does not have an inhaler, then immediately use the medicine for asthma that
- is available in the medicine box or if the medicine is not available, immediately take your child to the nearest Emergency Unit (UGD).
Questions About Asthma in Children
Having a child with asthma is not an easy matter, there are various questions in your mind that might disturb your mind. Here are some questions that you might be worried about, namely:
Will my child have asthma for life?
About 50% of children who have asthma will continue to experience it into adulthood.
Is it necessary to communicate asthma to our children to the school?
It is very important to ensure that teachers and adults around them (such as caregivers at home) understand the condition of your little one, and what to do if he suddenly develops asthma at school. If symptoms often appear when the child is at school, parents sometimes need to entrust medicine to the teacher at school so that these symptoms can be treated immediately and if not treated with medication, the teacher at school can immediately take the child to the nearest hospital for treatment.
Can my child exercise normally?
Basically, exercise works to reduce asthma symptoms and strengthen lung muscles. However, its implementation must be preceded by a doctor’s supervision. Spraying an inhaler before exercise can help reduce the risk of developing an asthma attack. Teach children to exercise according to their physical abilities and not to push themselves too much when exercising.
Is it safe to keep pets at home?
The fur of pets such as cats, dogs and birds is one of the main triggers for allergies that can cause asthma attacks. Ask your doctor if you still want to keep animals at home.
Asthma in children you can not take lightly. The reason is, this condition can harm your baby. Immediately consult your child’s condition if he experiences some of the asthma symptoms described above to get the right examination and treatment. And try to always take care of your baby to avoid triggers of asthma attacks.
Be alert if there are severe symptoms such as: decreased consciousness, body looks blue, the skin feels cold, severe shortness of breath, seizures, the child does not want to breastfeed or has difficulty breastfeeding, the child complains of sudden chest pain, coughing up blood or severe asthma attacks that do not subside after receiving treatment at home. This condition is an emergency condition in which parents must immediately bring their child to the emergency room for immediate help.