Asthma in children, Parents beware

Asthma is a chronic, long-term disease. In this, the wind pipe and its branches that carry air to the lungs are inflamed. As a result, breathing becomes difficult. The disease affects children more than adults, as their trachea and its branches are very thin. Asthma is life-threatening in children. This is one of the most frequent ailments in children. It should never be neglected.

Wheezing, cough, congestion of the chest, difficulty in breathing (especially in the night and early morning hours.), can be seen in Asthma. If there is difficulty in breathing during nights, the patients are seen restless. This is especially so during night times. Most children with Asthma suffer from bronchitis. Cough is intermittent or frequent. In infants, Asthma is suspected if they are unable to take milk from the mother. Breathing is rapid in Asthma. It affects the heart rate.

representational imageAllergens, pets, cigarette smoke, environment pollution, cool breeze, changes in weather, infections, flu virus, dust mites, or even common cold might lead to Asthma. This condition occurs due to viral respiratory infections or some kinds of foods. If is present in parents, it could be inherited. It can occur in underweight babies or in those with nasal allergies (rhinitis). Pollutants in the house like dust, mosquito repellents, perfume, deodorant, mattresses, bacteria in pillows could also cause Asthma. At least 10 per cent of children in Hyderabad alone, suffer from breathing problems, according to statistics. The immune system is not very strong in children. As such, they are more susceptible to allergies and Asthma.

Take Doctor's help
Do not neglect any of the symptoms mentioned above. Take the child to the doctor. If a doctor is approached in the early stages of these symptoms, there are chances of a speedy recovery. Once it reaches chronic stage, recovery is late. Asthma is diagnosed through tests in children above five years of age, like in adults. Spirometry (breathing test) is done. X-ray and blood tests might be suggested. In this, the functioning of the lungs can be examined. Spirometry test results are not that definite in children who are below five years of age. Symptoms, conditions gathered from parents, listening to the heart beat and breathing, with a stethoscope and taking X-rays will help in detecting the disease.

representational imageTreatment is of two types. Medicines are suggested for relief from congestion. Also medicines are given for the symptoms not to return. Corticosteroids are suggested. It is necessary to give medicines regularly. Nebuliser is used to give medicines to children. Ensure that there is adequate Vitamin D supply daily.

Stay away from these
Ensure that children stay away from allergens and other Asthma-causing pollutants, besides medication. Asthma occurs sometimes due to pollutants in milk, doctors said. It is better to give mother's milk. Ice creams and other chilled food stuffs should be avoided. Make them stay away from cool drinks and air coolers. Excess of chocolates too is harmful. They should wear a mask when going outside.

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