Asthma in Children: Risk Factors, Symptoms and Treatment

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Childhood asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children. It cannot be cured and may continue into adulthood. It causes many emergency department visits, hospitalizations and missed school days. Triggers such as allergies, a respiratory infection, air pollution, exercise and sudden weather changes can easily irritate the lungs and airways.

Childhood asthma may interfere with daily activities and sleep, and if left unmanaged, can cause dangerous asthma attacks. Some children may have asthma symptoms only when exercising or playing a sport.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) indicates several risk factors for developing childhood asthma:

•Allergies
•Family history of allergies and/or asthma
•Frequent respiratory infections
•Low birth weight
•Second-hand smoke before and/or after birth
•Growing up in a low income, urban environment

It may be difficult to recognize whether your child has asthma. Symptoms vary from child to child and may be associated with another illness. The AAAAI suggests paying attention to the following symptoms in infants and children:

•Wheezing (whistling sound) when breathing
•Coughing
•Rapid breathing
•Labored breathing
•Complaints of chest hurting
•Reduced energy
•Feeling weak or tired

Take your child to the doctor if you suspect he or she has asthma. The allergist or immunologist will prescribe medication and create a treatment plan upon diagnosis. A healthy and active lifestyle also helps to prevent permanent lung damage. Do not permit smoking around your child and limit exposure to asthma triggers. Avoiding asthma triggers are the best ways to prevent asthma attacks. You and other caregivers can monitor symptoms and learn what to do if an asthma attack occurs. Whether or not your child has been diagnosed with asthma, seek medical attention immediately if he or she has difficulty breathing.

A steroid inhaler or other preventative medication used every day or during periods when asthma attacks occur can make a huge difference in improving your child’s quality of life. Carmichael’s Cashway Retail Pharmacy in Crowley, Louisiana offers several convenient ways to fill asthma medications. Our pharmacists also work closely with the prescribing doctor to help ensure proper asthma management and treatment. For nebulizers and accessories, contact or visit our durable medical equipment locations in Crowley, Lafayette and Lake Charles.

 

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