Asthma in children is a significant chronic illness that can happen to infants and children of all ages. It is not a condition that only affects one race. In fact is a common chronic childhood illness that is found in all races of people. Asthma in children can develop in infancy but most commonly develops between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age. It is so common that it affects over 4 million children under the age of 18.
Asthma in children can bring with it the same signs and symptoms that adults experience. Common symptoms of asthma in children include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing and chest tightness. Children who have asthma also can have watery and itchy eyes, a runny nose, sore throat, stuffy nose and labored breathing. Symptoms of asthma in children may be more predominate when the child has a cold or the flu. If they have bronchitis or pneumonia their asthma symptoms can be worse. Infants with asthma may not be able to nurse and may cough and be more fussy than normal.
Asthma in children can be dangerous because carbon dioxide can build up in the body which may lead to respiratory failure ending in death. Childhood asthma causes inflammation of the child’s bronchial airways. This inflammation causes the production of excessive mucus and swelling of the bronchial tubes which makes breathing very difficult for the child. Asthma in children can result in asthma attacks that can range from being mild to severe.
Asthma in children is treated the same way as adults and the child is prescribed most of the same medications as adults take only in an adjusted dosage. However some young children may not be able to take some of the medications that adults take because they cannot handle the side effects. Preventing an asthma attack is much better than treatment with drugs. You can gain information and knowledge that will help you manage your child’s asthma.
Children with asthma can be taught deep breathing techniques which can help the lungs keep clear the lungs and increase air supply. These techniques are exercises that should be done regularly to stimulate normal lung growth. Children with asthma can also be taught to be mentally aware of an asthma attack coming on so they can begin to take long, slow deep breaths. Deep breathing can help strengthen the diaphragm which can in turn help reduce asthma attacks.
The cause of asthma in children has not been narrowed down to a single factor. It is believed to be partially hereditary. Allergies may play a big role in the condition since allergies also cause inflammation of the airways. Asthma in children can also cause the child to experience frequent respiratory infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Asthma in children also includes a condition called hidden asthma for some that can only be detected by a test for pulmonary function. Children with hidden asthma may have symptoms that are so mild that they are unrecognizable. You should have your child evaluated for hidden asthma if they cough frequently during and after exercise. Exercise is a common trigger that can bring on symptoms of asthma in children. Other triggers include weather, allergies and emotional outbreaks. Episodes of asthma in children during and after exercise can be prevented if children use a bronchodilator before activity. Being suddenly exposed to cold air can provoke and asthma attack so if the child with asthma is given a protective mask or scarf to protect them from inhaling cold air, it may prevent an attack also.
Asthma in children can be serious. Besides prescription medications there are also some vitamins and herbs that can be given to children with asthma. The vitamins are vitamin A, B vitamin complex, C, E and calcium citrate and Zinc. Evening of Primrose Oil, an essential fatty acid, can help also. Herbs include nettle, elder flowers, ginkgo biloba, plantain, ginger and anise seed.
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