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5 Tips to Manage Your Child's Asthma

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SATURDAY, Sept. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For many children with asthma, coughing is an early warning sign of a flare-up, an expert says.

Understanding asthma and knowing what to expect can help parents prevent or lessen the severity of asthma attacks, said Dr. Ronald Ferdman, a pediatric allergist-immunologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

He provided the following tips to help parents protect their children's health:

  • Know the triggers. It's important to minimize children's exposure to asthma triggers you can control, such as tobacco smoke, dust and pet dander. Colds and weather changes are out of your control, but knowing they can exacerbate asthma can keep you ahead of flare-ups.
  • Don't limit physical activity. In general, it's better to give children a dose of their quick-relief medication (albuterol or levalbuterol) before they exercise and sometimes afterwards.
  • Be prepared. Store quick-relief medicine at every location where your child spends time, including school, home or day care. Refill these prescriptions before they run out.
  • Don't wait to medicate. Any respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, may be an early sign of an asthma flare-up. Don't wait until a child is wheezing to give asthma medication. It is safer to give children a dose of their rescue medicine early -- even if it's not entirely clear if their asthma is flaring up -- than to wait until symptoms become severe. Lung infections are the most common trigger of asthma attacks in children. Kids with asthma should get a dose of their quick-relief medication as soon as they develop symptoms of a cold.
  • Stick to the treatment plan. Taking controller (preventative) medication each day is the most effective way to control chronic asthma. Children should take this medication even if they don't have symptoms. This simply means their treatment is working. Stopping this medication without talking to a child's doctor is risky.

With proper management, children with asthma can exercise normally, sleep well at night, attend school and avoid the emergency room. Parents shouldn't settle for less, Ferdman said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more on asthma in children.

SOURCE: Children's Hospital Los Angeles, news release, Sept. 13, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=737714

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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