It’s still a mystery why asthma is becoming more prevalent among children, but this much is true: 1 in every 9 Australians have asthma. In fact, asthma is one of the most leading causes of hospitalization among children. To accommodate children with this condition, many child care providers and teachers learn how to manage asthma, along with anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions, by taking a first aid course in Melbourne or their locality.
As a parent, how can you help a child who has been diagnosed with asthma? Here are some of the things you need to do to make asthma attacks more manageable for your kids, as well as to prepare them for future flare-ups:
- Avoid triggers. One of the best ways to minimize the occurrence of asthma attacks is to remember all possible triggers and avoid them. Involve your child in the process of investigating these triggers, and list them down for future reference. Some of the most common triggers are mold, pollen, viral infections, and weather changes.
- Keep track of asthma attacks. Taking good notes is key when dealing with asthma. After diagnosis, log down your child’s triggers, early warning signs, and medicines. This will allow you to understand asthma better and help you improve your child’s treatment plan.
- Stick with a plan. An asthma attack can be quite scary, especially if you’re a young child. To combat the fear and panic that may come with asthma attacks, it’s best to face it with a plan in place. Stay on top of an attack by having an asthma action plan, which is planned entirely around the child’s asthma. For this, you need a list of possible triggers, a supply of medicines to manage the attack, a step-by-step process of dealing with the early stages of asthma, another for addressing a full-blown flare-up, and a defined sign that you need to seek professional medical assistance. Make sure that your child knows your asthma action plan. Having the plan helps you minimize interruptions (such as hospital visits) brought about by asthma attacks, and it also helps you and your child stay in control of the situation.
- Follow prescriptions. Some people with asthma are advised by their doctor to take medicine daily to manage their condition in the long term, while others only need to take their meds when flare-ups occur. If your child is one of the former, make it a habit to check if they’ve taken their medicine. If your child uses an inhaler for quick relief, make sure that they bring the inhaler with them at all times.
- Be wary of flu. Flu season can be a big challenge for people with asthma, as flu can exacerbate their flare-ups. To avoid this, have your child vaccinated against the flu every year.
- Talk to your child’s care providers. It’s important to involve your child’s care providers and teachers in your asthma action plan. Talk to them about your child’s asthma and its symptoms, and give them a copy of the treatment plan every time you revise it. In addition, ensure that your child knows how to approach adults for help should a flare-up occur. You can do this by simulating conversations where your child needs to ask help from a teacher or care provider.
An asthma diagnosis should not limit your child or prevent them from engaging in activities they are interested in. While children with asthma may need extra precaution, with sufficient preparation and enough support, they should have no trouble enjoying their childhood and exploring the world around them.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does constitute, replace, or qualify as RPL for first aid training courses.