Children Have an Asthma

The symptoms and severity of asthma in children can be different from asthma in adults. If not handled properly, asthma can recur frequently and is increasingly difficult to treat. Therefore, it is important to know the symptoms and trigger factors of asthma in children and the steps to be taken.

Diagnosis and treatment of children with asthma, especially children under 5 years of age, is not an easy matter. Asthma in children has various symptoms and different levels of severity.

There are children who experience mild asthma symptoms, but there are also those who experience severe symptoms every time their asthma recurs. Steps for handling asthma in children are generally adjusted to the severity of the asthma experienced by the child and how often asthma symptoms recur.


Causes and Trigger Factors Asthma

The causes of asthma, both in adults and children, are not known with certainty. However, there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing asthma, including:

  • Genetic or congenital factors
  • Exposure to air pollution, such as cigarette smoke or being a passive smoker
  • Exposure to allergy triggers (allergens), such as dust, animal dander, pollen, and mites
  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Extreme weather, for example the air temperature is too cold
  • Recurrent and severe respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis
  • History of allergic diseases, such as eczema and food allergies
  • Family history of asthma, eczema, allergies, or rhinitis

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma in Children

Asthma symptoms that appear in each child can be different. This makes asthma in children difficult to detect. However, there are several main symptoms that generally appear when a child has an asthma attack, namely wheezing or wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.

Apart from that, there are also other symptoms that can appear when asthma in children is recurring, including:

  • Difficulty breathing or breathing that seems heavy and fast
  • Child does not want to eat or suckle
  • Pale skin accompanied by bluish fingernails and lips
  • Looks limp and less active
  • Looks less energetic, easily weak or tired, and often coughs during activities
  • The chest and neck muscles appear pulled when the child breathes or the nose swells when it breathes
  • The child looks fussy because he feels tightness or discomfort in his chest

In some children, these asthma symptoms can be more severe. In severe cases, asthma in children can cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • The breath is panting and fast, so that the way of speaking is stuttering or even the child can’t speak at all
  • Difficulty taking a breath
  • The stomach appears to deflate under the ribs when the child breathes
  • The child still feels short of breath even though he has received asthma medication
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting due to lack of oxygen

If this happens, immediately take your child to the nearest hospital to get proper treatment.


How to Handle Asthma in Children

Asthma cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be prevented and controlled. To deal with asthma in children and prevent it from recurring, you can follow some of the following tips:

1. Recognize and avoid triggering factors for recurrence of asthma symptoms
The trigger factors for asthma in each child are different. However, asthma symptoms generally appear when children are exposed to cigarette smoke, cold air, dust, and air pollution, or when doing strenuous physical activity.

Therefore, you need to identify and record what are the trigger factors for asthma in children, then as much as possible stay away from these trigger factors. Sometimes, stress and anxiety disorders can also make asthma symptoms in children easily recur.

2. Give asthma medicines
In general, there are two types of asthma medications that doctors can give to treat and prevent recurrence of asthma symptoms in children, namely:

Asthma controller medication

This type of asthma medication works to prevent the recurrence of asthma symptoms. Asthma drugs that are classified as asthma controller drugs are long-acting beta agonist (LABA) drugs, inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, and theophylline.

Asthma reliever medication

Asthma reliever drugs function to relieve asthma symptoms quickly when they relapse. Several types of fast-acting asthma relievers include bronchodilators or short-acting beta agonists (SABAs), corticosteroids, and ipratropium.

Medications for asthma in children are generally available in the form of inhaled medications that are used with assistive devices, such as inhalers and nebulizers. Therefore, it is important to teach children about how to use this asthma drug properly.

In addition to administering asthma medications, sometimes doctors will also prescribe antibiotics. However, this drug is only given when a child with asthma has a bacterial infection, such as pneumonia.

3. Administer oxygen therapy
Children who suffer from asthma can experience a decrease in the amount of oxygen when their asthma symptoms recur. If a child experiences this, asthma treatment should be accompanied by oxygen therapy.

Oxygen therapy is very important to prevent and treat hypoxic conditions or low oxygen levels in the blood. If not treated properly, hypoxia has the potential to cause a child to experience organ damage and even death.


Tips for Caring for and Caring for Children with Asthma

If you have a child who suffers from asthma, there are several tips you can do to protect and care for children with asthma, including:

  • Recognize and record your child’s asthma symptoms and know how badly these symptoms affect their activities
  • Keep track of how often your asthma attacks recur
  • Recognize the trigger factors of asthma in children
  • Know first aid for asthma attacks in children according to doctor’s advice
  • Understand the different types of medications and how asthma medications work
  • Give asthma medication to children according to the doctor’s instructions
  • Know the side effects of each drug and do not give more than the recommended dose
  • Observe whether the treatment is optimal in dealing with symptoms that appear and reduce the frequency of asthma attacks
  • Visit the doctor and get a peak flow meter test to find out how well your child’s lungs are working

To prevent the recurrence of asthma symptoms in children, you can also follow the following tips:

  • Clean the house and children’s room thoroughly from dust and pet waste
  • Avoid using cleaning products or household products that may irritate children
  • Use allergy medications as directed by your doctor and do not change dosages without your doctor’s knowledge
  • Teach children about healthy living habits. One of them is diligent hand washing to minimize the risk of catching a cold
  • Teach children about the importance of avoiding asthma triggers on themselves
  • Equip children with inhalers when they are at school or doing activities outside the home, and also teach them how to use them

Asthma in children cannot be taken lightly because it can harm the baby. If your little one has asthma, you need to recognize what triggers his asthma symptoms and always avoid them as much as possible.

If you still have questions about asthma in children and how to handle it, you can consult with your doctor. The doctor will tell you about steps to prevent and control asthma in children.

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