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Asthma Treatments for Children [Pediatrics]
Asthma is a common condition among children. This breathing problem can hinder a child’s ability to rest soundly, play and become involved in sports. If your child has asthma, you should not have to watch them suffer. Though there is no cure for the condition, your doctor can prescribe effective treatments to minimize your child’s discomfort.
Many children will have occasional bouts of coughing. More frequent coughing could be more than a cold. When this occurs often, especially during the night, the child may have asthma. Wheezing and difficulty breathing are also symptoms. A child with this condition may also complain of chest discomfort or pain.
When to get help
Parents should take the child to the pediatrician’s office when asthma symptoms are frequent and do not improve. Emergency care is required when the child cannot speak without gasping for air. Parents should rush the child to the emergency room when the breathing difficulties become severe or when the coughing and wheezing become continuous.
Controlling asthma with medication
The pediatrician may prescribe ongoing treatment for the child. This may come in the form of a corticosteroid inhaler, which will reduce swelling in the airway. Another possible intervention is the drug theophylline. This opens the child’s airway and promotes more effective breathing.
In some cases, the child’s condition may be life-threatening. The doctor can quickly deliver medication to improve breathing. Medications such as albuterol can temporarily relieve the pain, discomfort and other symptoms of asthma. Be aware that these medications will not stop future attacks but only serve to provide short-term help.
How the medicine gets in
Depending on the child’s condition, age and needs, the pediatrician may recommend different delivery methods for the medication. A metered-dose inhaler is perhaps the most common. The medication fits into a hollow tube, and the child pushes down on the mediation to release the right dose. For other types of the condition, the child may use a dry powder inhaler. The child will need to take fuller, faster breaths with this device. A nebulizer is another option that sends the medication in mist form into the patient’s airway by way of a mask.
Looking out for what brings on attacks
Parents and children should be aware of what causes asthma attacks. Avoiding certain activities and environments can reduce episodes. Children with the condition need to be careful when exercising and when being out in cold weather. If allergies bring on the attacks, the child should not be around animals or damp conditions too long.
There is hope
Dealing with the effects of asthma can be difficult for the child and their parents. Attacks can vary in severity, but the worst bouts can be deadly. If your child suffers from this condition, make sure you visit the doctor and consider these treatments. If some are not effective, discuss alternatives with the physician. With care and caution, your son or daughter can resume the regular activities they want to be a part of.
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