One of the most common childhood diseases affecting children all over the world is ‘pediatric asthma’. It is necessary for parents to identify the initial signs and symptoms of this disease so that preventative as well as curative measures can be undertaken. Moreover, parents should be aware of the environmental irritants, or allergies, which trigger this disease and therefore, prevent an attack.
Pediatric Asthma occurs as a result of many causes including eczema, smoking during pregnancy, pollution, allergies, colds and viral infections. Apart from these, a trigger may be caused by pets, prescription medications, dust, pollen, tobacco smoke etc. Children’s airways are narrower than those of adults, so the irritants or allergens which cause only minor problems in adults can cause more serious problems in children. This can leads to a sudden attack along with severe symptoms.
Keeping that in mind, it is necessary that asthma be diagnosed and treated carefully. Some of the symptoms of pediatric asthma include labored breathing, along with coughing and wheezing, followed by chronic infections of the upper respiratory system. Depending upon the child’s age and severity of attack, the signs become apparent in various ways.
Since asthmatic conditions usually become severe in children, toddlers and young children may cough and wheeze during physical activity, while infants become restless and cry continuously. Upper respiratory infections aggravate asthma symptoms, making them more obvious.
Asthmatic treatment involves two different approaches, first which involves avoidance of triggers which cause asthma. Common triggers include allergens and environmental triggers like smoke, dust etc. Next is the pharmacological approach, which includes long term and quick relief medication depending on the severity of the attack.
Inhalers and dosages for children are different from adults. Children need to use a nebulizer to take their medicine instead of inhalers, because of the difficulty in using them. With proper treatment and a team effort involving families and health care professionals, asthma can be properly managed, with most children leading a normal life.
Although there is no fool-proof method of preventing an asthma attack, the best way of reducing attacks is to eliminate triggers like tobacco, smoke, humidity, dust, molds etc from the household.