Asthma can happen at any age, and as a parent, there are ways for you to help your child with managing their asthma.
My son was recently diagnosed with asthma and I'm pretty certain my son's condition is a type of exercise-induced asthma, but right now we don't know because it is challenging to diagnose asthma in a young child. So do be persistent and go to the doctor whenever you are concerned.
So there are a few things to look out for that point towards asthma, and these things are a constant runny nose and coughing after activities is a big giveaway.
Also if they wheeze and cough at night as soon as they lay down, that is a huge, huge asthma symptom because of the laying down, sort of everything falls heavy on your chest, and you do tend to start struggling to breathe.
There are many, many other things to look out for but these are the biggest giveaways, with a runny nose and chestiness at night. Obviously, if they start coughing as soon as they do stuff, then that's another big giveaway.
But for the most part, look out for the two symptoms together, and if they aren't poorly at the time, then it could be asthma. So just be sure to go to doctors and talk to them.
How to Help Children With Asthma
There are a few ways to help children with asthma.
1. Inhalers Before Bed
Number one is to do their inhalers before they go to sleep at night, as soon as they wake up in the morning and anytime that they may need it during the day.
My son has begun to tell me when he needs his inhaler and when he feels chesty, although I do tend to know now due to myself.
2. It Is Near Impossible to Keep a Child or a Toddler, or Anyone of Any Age, to Stop Running
You just can't do it, it's so, so difficult to try and do that. So the best thing to do is to wait for them to stop playing, wait until they're calmed down, and then do their inhalers and try and get them to do an activity that means them sitting down and not overexert their chest.
The best activities that I find help my son are painting, drawing or anything that requires him to sit down for a while, even if it's just watching a film.
3. Always Use a Spacer
Always make sure you use a spacer when you are doing their inhalers, it goes directly into their lungs. If you aren't using a spacer, then it tends just to hit and sit at the back of their throat, which can cause thrush. So do be sure to use a spacer.
As horrible as it sounds, it does help when they are crying because it goes down deeper when they do a big breath. But if your child is old enough to understand that they need to take an intake of breath, then that's fine.
Be sure to give any child reminders, schools, family members that have your kids regularly a spare inhaler, just in case. The doctor will happily supply them for you as long as you tell them who they're for and make sure they are named and tell them exactly when they need it.
4. Visit the Doctor Every Six Months
Make sure you take your child to the doctors for a review every six months or so.
However, if they get worse then obviously take them beforehand, but every six months just to make sure the medication is still working for them, they're doing okay.
5. Learn Your Child's Asthma Triggers
And lastly, try and determine your child's asthma triggers.
Potential asthma triggers could be smoke, pet hair, dust mites or hay fever, but as soon as you learn what they are, you can shelter your child as much as possible and keep them away from the things that do, in fact, bring on asthma attacks.