Paediatric asthma: One of the most common chronic respiratory diseases observed in children is asthma.
Over the years, cases of paediatric asthma have been increasing. Asthmatic children don’t face difficulty to breathe most of the time, but managing a trigger might become difficult issue to answer. As child’s respiratory airway is already narrower than any adult, trigger might create serious concern among children.
Among common paediatric triggers for asthma include dust or dust mites, chemicals in the air, pollen, viral upper respiratory tract infections, animals (hair or dander), medications, (tobacco) and strong emotions. Asthma in childhood is characterised by persistent wheezing, cough, dyspnoea along with variable airflow limitation, airway inflammation (like eosinophilic) and airway hyper reactivity.
For management of paediatric asthma, National Asthma Education and Prevention Program have released guidelines to deal with paediatric asthma. The circular provides various recommendations on various aspects of the malady.
Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Asthma
Asthma can attack children/teenagers suddenly with several severe symptoms. Among common signs of asthma in children include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, feeling tightness in the chest and wheezing. Moreover, persistent night-time cough is another indicator of paediatric asthma.
Medication for Paediatric Asthma
Mild asthmatic condition requires quick relief; therefore, individuals need to consult doctor for medication of mild trigger. On the other hand, children with severe asthma are prescribed controller medication on a daily basis. They need to carry on with their medication (asthma action plan) even when they do not show any symptoms. In this manner, medication provides respite from the chronic condition.
Prevention for Paediatric Asthma
There is no definite preventative approach for asthma attacks. However, health complications arising due to asthma can be reduced to great extent. Elimination of triggers is considered the best way to reduce asthma attacks. Besides, one needs to follow a specific asthma administration plan after consultation with an expert. Ensuring asthma-friendly environment at home environment also decrease chances of asthma attacks significantly.
Guidelines for Paediatric Asthma Management
- Ensuring minimal or no chronic symptoms during day or night.
- Ascertaining limiting asthma exacerbations.
- Compliance with medications (asthma action plan), if any.
- Adhering to dietary recommendations.
- Avoiding antibiotics to the extent possible as these drugs render no benefit for asthma exacerbations, except for those patients with fever and purulent sputum or pneumonia.
- Consulting expert for asthma action plans with moderate or severe persistent asthma based on their peak flows.
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