Asthma is a chronic disorder of the airway characterized by obstruction of the air passages due to inflammation of the bronchial tree. Children ages 5 are susceptible to this condition. The condition can be mild, moderate to severe.
Pediatric asthma can be allergic and non-allergic. Allergic is caused by inhaling substances from the environment that result to inflammation and the air passages becomes tight. Non-allergic can be due to viral infections, exercise, smoke and heredity.
Risk factors for developing pediatric asthma
- Nasal rhinitis
- Respiratory infections
- Inhaling secondhand cigarette smoke
- Allergy to animal dander increases the risk of developing asthma
- Exposure to dust, fumes and air pollution
- Premature birth has a high risk of developing asthma
- Having a family history of asthma, eczema and allergy
- Urban areas with a high rate of pollution
- A wheezing sound can be heard especially when breathing
- Congestion and chest tightness
- Pain in the chest in young children
- Loss of sleep and appetite. Difficulty in sleeping because attacks of asthma usually happen at night.
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Severe prostration
- Colds and flu makes the symptoms severe
- Use of accessory muscles while breathing
- A severe asthma makes the color of the skin bluish
- Widened nostrils while breathing
- Use the prescribed inhaled corticosteroids for long-term medication for asthma.
- Use medication that gives instant relief or rescue medication such as short acting bronchodilators and systemic corticosteroids. Use the inhaled ipratropium together with inhaled bronchodilators when the condition becomes severe.
- Medications are given using a device that makes the affected child breathe in medication into the lungs such as a metered dose inhaler. It is a small hand device, with metered dose to make sure the child gets the correct dose. A hallow tube or spacer is attached to the inhaler. Dry powder inhalers which need a deep and fast inhalation of the full dose of the medication and nebulizer which changes medications into a fine mist and breathe in through a face mask. It delivers large doses of medication into the lungs and this is the device usually used by children.
- Massage specific areas in the body of the affected child during episode of asthma attack to lessen the cough, encourage relaxation and lessen the wheezing.
- Install a dehumidifier to lessen the humidity at home.
- Keep indoor air clean by regularly cleaning the air conditioner at home. Change filters in the furnace and install a small-particle filter in the ventilation system.
- If the child is allergic to dander, avoid pets that have feathers or furs. Bath the pets regularly to lessen the amount of dander in the surroundings.
- Use air conditioner at home to lessen pollen from grasses, trees and weeds that enters the house. Air conditioner will lower the humidity indoor and lessen the exposure to dust mites.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on pediatric asthma is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this respiratory issue by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.