What do soccer superstar David Beckham and snake-loving rocker Alice Cooper have in common? Asthma! They've both contended with this life-threatening lung inflammation since they were young children.
Their success stories should offer some comfort to the more than 7 million kids in North America who contend with this condition. In 2010, there were 640,000 asthma-related ER visits from kids under age 15.
Unfortunately, parents might not know how to manage a child's asthma — and too often, a young asthma sufferer isn't given medication until an attack sends parent and child racing to the emergency room.
But asthma needs to be managed EVERY day, even when your child isn't having symptoms such as fatigue, wheezing, or congestion.
Daily, long-term control medications can prevent attacks and reduce the need for a rescue inhaler. If your child is using the rescue inhaler more than twice a week, you need to talk to the doctor about improving your child's treatment.
You can start by identifying your child's particular triggers (mold, dust, car exhaust, pollen) and finding ways to minimize exposure to them.
You also can help your child stick to a daily long-term control plan — which will keep you both out of the ER — by taking a look at the Environmental Protection Agency's brochure “Help Your Child Gain Control Over Asthma,” and the American Lung Association's “Open Airways for School” program.
Then make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in children's asthma. You and your child will breathe easier!
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