If your child has asthma, it's important to know that they're not alone. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about one out of every 13 people in the United States has been diagnosed with asthma. What can you do to make your child's life easier? Here are some tips for caring for a child with asthma.
1. Take Steps to Improve the Indoor Environment
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be up to one thousand times more polluted with particles than outdoor air. One of the things you should do is to change your HVAC filters regularly. Asthma triggers like dust, pollen, and dander can roam freely through your home. High-quality HEPA air filters for your HVAC system can help to reduce indoor allergen exposure.
According to the U.S. Energy Administration, about 84% of homes in the United States have air conditioning. There are more air-conditioned homes in the United States than in the entire world combined. If you have AC, changing your filters frequently can help your child to breathe easier.
2. Pet Concerns
Many children who suffer from asthma also have allergies. One of the most common allergies is to dogs' dander. According to Statista, over 89.7 million dogs in the United States live with families. Dogs are our favorite animal companions. However, they can be a trigger for a child with asthma.
If your little one's heart is set on a family pet, you don't have to rule out owning a pup. There are breeds of dogs that are bred to be “hypoallergenic.” If you want a dog in the household, choose a breed that will be less threatening to your child's condition. Also, invest in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter system.
3. Learn To Recognize the Signs
There are early signs that your child is in distress before a full-blown asthma attack. Learn to recognize those early signs so you can act fast. Early intervention is the best way to offset a full-blown attack.
You should have an asthma plan in place with step-by-step directions on what to do if an attack occurs. Your asthma plan should be copied and handed out to care providers, the school, your child's sports coach, and any other adult who will be in contact or caring for your child regularly. Work with your doctor to come up with a plan.
4. Keep Rescue Inhalers Nearby
Keeping rescue inhalers stashed in different locations with easy access is a good idea. For example, keep one in the car, one in the kitchen, and one on the upper level of your home. Have more than one rescue inhaler on call, just in case you need it. There's nothing worse than not being able to find a rescue inhaler when it is needed.
Teach your child how to use their rescue inhaler properly. A child as young as four can learn how to use an inhaler on their own should there not be an adult nearby to help. Possessing this knowledge can be life-saving.
5. Work With a Good Respiratory Therapist
Your child must see a respiratory therapist. A respiratory therapist will monitor your child's breathing over time and provide them with exercises that they can do to improve lung function. Many people live very full lives with asthma. Making simple changes according to a respiratory therapist's advice and staying diligent about the condition can help.
With proper care, asthma can be well-managed. Be sure to keep the tips above in mind to ensure your child lives a rich life without their asthma getting in the way.