5 Tips For Managing Your Child's Asthma Attacks
Health & Medical
Does your child have asthma? If so, you're likely on the lookout for anything that can reduce the number and severity of your child's attacks. Unfortunately, there's no cure for asthma, although your doctor can prescribe a number of treatments that can make the condition more manageable. Even with an inhaler, medication, and other treatments, though, your child may still suffer attacks from time to time. Fortunately, there are further steps you can take in the home to manage the attacks. Here are five of the top things you can do to help your child with his or her asthma:
- Document everything. In the heat of an asthma attack, you likely don't have time to take notes and write some things down. Once the attack has passed, though, be sure to write down everything you can about the attack. What was your child doing before the attack came on? What possible triggers were nearby? Was it more or less severe than past attacks? By documenting these things, you can begin to notice patterns, especially when it comes to triggers. That will help you take action and limit exposure to those triggers.
- Reduce virus exposure. Viruses can impact the immune system, block airways, and make breathing in general more difficult. For people without asthma, that can mean having a stuffed-up nose. For people with asthma, a virus can trigger an onslaught of attacks. Limit exposure to viruses by getting your child an annual flu shot. Also, have your child wash his or her hands regularly, especially after using the restroom, after playing outside, and before eating.
- Eat plenty of bright fruits and vegetables. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, squash, and apples have nutrients called flavonoids and carotenoids. These nutrients support immune system health and can lead to improved respiratory function. Try to work them into your child's diet as much as possible to keep him or her healthy and breathing clear.
- Use vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D has many health benefits, but one may be that it improves lung function and respiratory capacity. Vitamin D is found in a wide range of foods, including most fish, dairy products like soy milk and cheese, and even eggs. You could also have your child take vitamin D supplements. However, you may want to talk to your child's doctor before introducing supplements.
- Work on stress management. Stress and anxiety can cause a shortness of breath even in people who don't have asthma. However, in a child with asthma, simple shortness of breath can quickly turn into a serious attack. Help your child manage stress with a variety of techniques. Meditation and yoga can help. Having your child stop, take a step back from a stressful situation, and quietly count to ten can also help. Talk to your child about how important it is for him or her to stay calm.
For more information, talk to an asthma specialist at The Regional Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center, PC. He or she can provide other recommendations.
28 October 2015