Allergic and asthmatic disorders rank first among childhood diseases. Asthma can be a minor inconvenience with diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The objective of treatment is control of the disease so that a normal life is possible. Overall, the outlook is favorable for improvement as the child becomes older. However, it is impossible to make an accurate prediction for any particular child.
Treatment of the child with asthma involves evaluating the triggers of asthma and changing the environment whenever possible to avoid the precipitating factors. Medication works to prevent or control bronchospasm. Allergy injections may be recommended to change the child’s response to inhaled allergens which trigger bronchospasm. Remember, allergy injections take time to show an effect and do not directly help the asthma which is triggered by such factors as upper respiratory infection, cold air and exercise. Therefore, a combined program of avoidance, medication, and allergy injections (if indicated) achieves control of asthma. If our child has asthma, you can help in the following ways:
- Do not allow smoking in the house or around your child.
- Use medications prescribed by your doctor to block your child’s exercise-induced asthma so that he or she can live an active life. Remember may Olympic gold medal winners and Pro football players have asthma.
- Many children fall behind academically due to being sent home for minor asthma attacks which could be controlled at school, or they miss a day of school for minor wheezing or congestion in the morning. Medicines should be available at school and the child and the health aid or teacher needs to be comfortable using them.
- Discipline for the child with asthma should be the same as for any other child. Although it is possible for a child who is upset by a parent’s enforcement of rules to wheeze, it is a far greater harm to allow the child to have his or her own way.
- Teach your child self-care. Children should be taught to recognize symptoms and to use reliever medications. Children should be responsible for daily medication according to their level of maturity with careful supervision by an adult.
- The most common cause of failure of treatment in asthmatic children is the lack of compliance with the treatment plan recommended by the doctor. Many parents are understandably worried about side effects of medication. Your doctor will be happy to discuss the actions and the side effects of medication prescribed for your child.