Childhood asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the US. It can have a significant effect on a child’s physical, mental and emotional health. Managing childhood asthma early and effectively is key to helping a child reach their full potential and mitigating any long-term effects. Here are some tips for understanding and managing childhood asthma and health.
Learn About Asthma and Its Triggers
The first step to managing childhood asthma is understanding the condition and its associated triggers. Common asthma triggers include certain types of air pollution, dust, smoke, pollens, aerosol sprays and pets. If a child is known to have asthma, it is important to identify and avoid potential triggers as much as possible.
Follow an Asthma-Friendly Diet
Since food allergies can trigger asthma symptoms, it is important to follow an asthma-friendly diet. Follow a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins, and low in processed food and sugars. Pay attention to foods that may trigger an asthma episode and introduce new foods slowly.
Regularly Clean the Home Environment
Ensure a clean home environment to reduce the chance of a child’s asthma being triggered by household dust. Avoiding areas with high levels of dust and always dusting and vacuuming regularly can help.
Have an Emergency Action Plan
The best way to manage asthma episodes is to prevent them from happening, but it is also important to have an emergency action plan in place. An action plan should include instructions on recognizing the signs of an asthma episode, as well as the steps to take in the event of an attack. It should be shared with family, friends and school personnel so everyone is prepared.
Work With a Pediatric Asthma Specialist
Working with a pediatric asthma specialist can help families better understand the triggers, treatments and coping mechanisms associated with childhood asthma. The specialist can help develop an asthma action plan, provide advice on lifestyle changes and create an individualized treatment plan for managing symptoms.
Childhood asthma, if managed correctly and early on, does not have to have a major impact on a child’s life. Following these tips can help families create an asthma-friendly home and lifestyle, and keep children free from asthma episodes.