Educating Your Kids About Asthma

Did you know over 8 million kids have asthma? Sure, you’ve heard of asthma and that it can be extremely dangerous, but there’s a lot more information you should know.  Given the number of those infected, it likely hits close to home in that you, your child, or one of your child’s friends has likely suffered from this condition. Take some time to educate yourself and your child on asthma, so that they know what to look for in emergency situations and how to treat those who suffer from this condition.

What is Asthma?

You or your children might be wondering what, exactly, asthma is. By definition, asthma is a reversible obstructive lung disease caused by increased reaction of the airways to various stimuli. It’s chronically inflammatory and can be exacerbated acutely in different scenarios. Put very simply, it’s a condition where airways can get easily swollen and irritated, making it difficult to breathe. All kids and adults have different triggers (allergies, infections, viruses, etcetera), and it’s important to know those triggers that are unique to each individual. While the condition may flare up from time to time, with treatment it will get better slowly over days.

What Does that Mean for Kids that Suffer from Asthma?

It simply means that they may need to monitor themselves frequently to determine how they feel in relation to any present activity or situation. One who has had several “asthma attacks” probably understands how they feel before an actual attack, and may need to take a step back from an activity when all of the other kids are feeling fine. They may also opt out of activities that they have learned will cause difficulty breathing. If they undergo an attack, they’ll need to use their medicated inhaler to re-open the airways, which will allow them to breathe.

How Can You Help?

You can help simply by educating yourself and your kids so that those with asthma have an extra set of eyes and ears in emergency situations where they’re overcome with inability to breathe. If you’re an adult caring for a child with asthma, whether it’s your child or someone else’s, always make sure their inhaler is present. You never want to be in a situation where a child can’t breathe and doesn’t have their inhaler. Also look out for symptoms of the attack that may go unnoticed by anybody else – wheezing, coughing, or physical discomfort. Always be ready to call 911 quickly in case the inhaler doesn’t get breathing back under control.

It’s unfortunate that so many are affected by asthma, but if we educate our kids and families on what it is and how to handle it, it’ll be much safer to navigate when someone we know has an attack.