The most chronic respiratory disease in children is ASTHMA and it is true that children below age 5 develop symptoms. It is an allergic condition in which small airways in the lung are swollen due to various allergies, thereby obstructing breathing out. Though asthma in children varies by age group as toddlers will be diagnosed differently than how adults are. It is advisable you maintain an asthma action plan for your child with the doctor to know about the symptoms and its treatment.
Symptoms of Asthma
- Shortness of Breath
- Dry cough or frequent coughing- More in the night and early morning
- Whistling sound when breathing in or breathing out
- Pain or tightness in chest while running or doing exercise
- Nasal Blockage, Sneezing and Runny Nose
- See-saw motions in the chest from laboured breathing
- Weakness or tiredness
When is it Alarming?
Asthma can be caused by exposure to dust, pollen, cockroaches, house mites, air pollutants, perfumes, smoke and viral infections. It can be life-threatening for some children and may require intervention. Few alarming symptoms are:
- Breathing in hard that the abdomen is sucked inside the ribs
- Gasping for air
- Difficulty in speaking as breathing is restricted
Why is Asthma increasing in Children?
Asthma incidence is increasing significantly in both children and adults across all sections of society. According to the recent studies, this disease is present in more than 20-40% of school children. In families, where there is a history of nasal, skin or respiratory allergies, there are chances that children can develop these allergies, but it can also occur in children where there is no such history of such problems. It can happen that lack of knowledge and understanding about asthma may force parents to deny the existence of this disease and do not take any prescribed treatment.
It is important that they must know certain facts about asthma- for instance, it is not a genetic disease, and is not infectious (cannot be passed from one person to another). However, it is an allergic disease that is controlled in 60-70% and can be cured if it is treated properly at 7-8 years of age.
We do not know the exact reasons that why do children develop asthma.However, there can be reasons like the children spend too much time indoors and are exposed to dust, air pollution, and smoke. Few people believe that as some children are not exposed to enough childhood illness, thereby exposing them to bacteria and viruses.
Know more on Asthma-Treatment
There can be a number of conditions that can hamper your child’s health and slow down their progress. With proper treatment, most children lead a normal life and enjoy school and other social activities. You can help your child by:
Inhalation therapy- It is the best way to treat asthma as it helps the lungs to breathe properly. To reduce the swelling in the airway, steriods are given in inhalers and nebulizers in a prescribed dosage to avoid side effects.
Preventive medications are given to minimize the risk of acute asthma. These medications are not be confused with oral steriods as they can have significant effects for a longer time. It is advisable that these medications are taken under the supervision of a Pediatric chest specialist.