Asthma & Children

Asthma & Children

Asthma & Children
Asthma is a common condition in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in 11 children have asthma. If your child coughs a lot, especially when playing or laughing, or has chronic wheezing asthma may be the problem. Consult your pediatrician, who will diagnose the condition and develop a treatment plan, which could include an asthma inhaler, one or more bronchodilators or an anti-inflammatory medicine. Some children grow out of asthma as teenagers, while others have asthmatic symptoms all of their lives. Learn more about childhood asthma with expert advice from Sharecare.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Daily low-dose corticosteroids are the preferred treatment for children of 5 years and younger with mild persistent asthma.

    A medium dose of inhaled corticosteroid is the preferred treatment for children of 5 years and younger with moderate persistent asthma and the starting treatment for children less than 5 years old with severe, persistent asthma.

    A child who has latent tuberculosis or has ever had tuberculosis, should not take an inhaled corticosteroid.

    If your child has herpes infection of the eye, he or she should not take an inhaled corticosteroid.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
  • 1 Answer
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    • Explain asthma and asthma treatment fully. Don’t assume that your teen knows the whys and hows of taking medication. Explain why some medications will be more effective if taken routinely. Also explain the consequences of not taking medication -- for example, your child may risk missing school or a special event.

    • Agree on a plan. First, work with your teen to create a plan that will help your teen to remember to take medications. Next, problem solve together. If your teen routinely forgets medication or resists taking it, try to tackle the problem together. Ask, “What don’t you like about taking your medication?” and “What can we do to make this easier?”

    •Offer rewards if necessary. Teens don’t usually need rewards or treats to take their medication -- but you might try them if your teen is having trouble staying motivated.
  • 1 Answer
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    If you find that your child isn’t taking medication properly, you need to talk about why. Keep the tone positive and encouraging. Start by pointing out what is working, and then go on to explore  the following possible problems together:

    • “I don’t WANT to take my medication!” If your child actively resists taking medication, find out why. Is he embarrassed? Does the medication taste bad? Are medication side effects bothering him? Work with your child and your child’s healthcare providers and teachers to find ways to minimize these problems.

    • “It’s too hard.” Make sure your child understands when and how to take various medications. Have your doctor or asthma educator reinforce your child’s technique for taking inhaled medications. If your child has a hard time taking pills, try having her practice by swallowing tiny bread balls to get used to the feeling.

    • “I don’t need medication.” There are lots of reasons why children might think they don’t need medication. First, they might have become used to poor lung function and think that it’s normal. They could be practicing “wishful thinking” -- deciding that their asthma has gone away. (Just because you don’t have symptoms now doesn’t mean your asthma is gone!) Or perhaps they’re not getting much benefit from their medication anyway -- in which case, they need to have their treatment adjusted. Make an appointment with your child’s doctor to review and agree upon an asthma action plan.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A Pediatrics, answered on behalf of
    Young children are the most common users of nebulizers with masks. To help children adjust to the mask, try the following tips:

    • Invite the child to explore the mask and practice having it over his or her face or to pretend giving it to a doll or parent.
    • When appropriate, encourage the child to help hold the mask during the treatment.
    • If the child has difficulty holding still while using the mask, provide a small incentive or distraction.
    • If the preceding tips do not work, you may need to gently hold the child while using the mask.
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  • 2 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Managing asthma in kids can be a challenge considering almost half of kids (adults, too) who need regular dosing of inhaled corticosteroids don't take what they need at least 25% of the time.

    The great news is I've got answers! Turns out that most teens actually enjoy getting reminders about their asthma self-care if they're delivered as digital taps on the shoulder -- TCOY (take care of yourself -- if you didn't know.) As Alicia Keys and Beyonce croon in "Put It in a Love Song," "Just text me on my cell phone!"

    One study found that 93% of teens who were getting text message reminders about their asthma medication said it changed -- for the better -- how they handled their asthma. Automated "robo" calls from pharmacists and doctors with reminders about taking medications and other health-related tips also work better than anything we've had before. Many of these services deliver a patient-education text, and it turns out kids like to get that, too.

    The very best way to improve your son's asthma control is to help him make his own wake-up messages that he programs into his cell phone. (For kids 15 years old and younger, encourage them to program their iPod. Cell phones aren't great for developing brains.) Your son can record the reminders, mix in music, set the alarm to deliver them, and -- presto change-o! -- you have a kid who's tuned in to his own asthma control.

    When kids control the timing and content of their own reminders, they feel independent -- and that lets you relax. The ADEPT study that looked at the benefits of using technology to increase teens' use of their asthma medicine found that peer support and musical clues increase adherence to the asthma-control routine from 40% to 70% (not perfect, but a whole lot better).

    Here's one more tip, Mom: You can improve your own asthma-control habits, too. Get tuned in to your health maintenance organization's (HMO's) or pharmacy's automatic call system that reminds you to pick up your son's asthma prescriptions.
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  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Children have special challenges in taking daily medications. Below are some tips to help you and your child establish a good routine and work together to solve problems.

    • Prepare and practice together. Give very simple explanations of what you’re doing and why (“I’m going to put this mask on you to help you breathe better”). First “practice” the procedure on yourself, a doll, or a stuffed animal — then let your child have a turn at practice. Give toddlers as much control as possible by giving them choices (for example, where to have a treatment, or whether to sit on the bed or a parent’s lap).

    • Help your child relax. Try swaddling -- not just with a blanket, but also with your body. Make a soothing “sh-sh-sh” sound, or talk in a calm, soothing voice. Listen to lullabies or other relaxing music. Try rocking, bouncing, swaying, or walking with your child in your arms.

    • Distract your child. Offer musical or light-up toys, pop-up books, bubbles, or other distractions while you’re giving medication.

    • Give immediate rewards. After giving medication, follow up with a treat such as a special activity or book. Praise your child for taking the medication (even if it has been a struggle).
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    If having asthma makes your child feel “weird,” you’ll need to address this feeling -- or risk having your child resist treatment. Here are a few things you can do to help your child adjust:

    • Do everything you can to understand your child’s asthma and get comfortable with your child’s treatment. If you act like asthma is a tragedy -- or if you question the need for treatment -- your child will probably do the same.

    • Arrange for your child to take medication at a time, and in a way, that other kids won’t notice.

    • Give your child the words for talking to his or her friends about the need for medication. For example, your child might simply say, “I have asthma. It means my lungs get bothered by certain things -- so I take medication to help them work well.”

    • Visit your child’s school and explain asthma to the students and teachers.
  • 1 Answer
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Side effects may include coughing, irritation of the throat or airways, difficulty speaking, yeast infections of the mouth and throat, sinus or respiratory infections, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Inhaled corticosteroids are the most effective long-term control medications for treating persistent asthma in children under 5 years. They reduce asthma symptoms, improve lung function, reduce airway inflammation, and reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

    This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    No, it doesn’t appear that going to day care either increases or decreases a child’s risk of developing asthma. Some studies show that recurrent wheezing may be more common in children age 12-15 months who are in daycare, but that is likely due to their increased exposure to viruses, and not asthma itself.