Asthma is a common condition in children.
Air passages in the lungs become swollen and inflamed, creating mucous and causing the airways to narrow.
As well as this, muscle bands around the air passages become tighter, making it more difficult to breathe and causing a wheeze and cough.
Wheeze is very common in babies and children though, so most doctors are reluctant to diagnose asthma before the age of two.
If these kind of symptoms persist past this age, then asthma may be diagnosed.
Around 1 in 4 children will be diagnosed with asthma at some point in their childhood.
With the right medication and plan, most children will lead a completely normal life with asthma and enjoying sport.
It affects every child differently and can be unpredictable.
Symptoms of a mild asthma episode
• Out of breath at rest
• Tightness in the chest
• Unable to complete full sentences
• Lack of energy
• Wheezing sound
• Coughing a lot at night or during exercise
Severe symptoms of asthma
• Struggling to breathe
• distressed and exhausted
• Becomes limp
•Throat appears to suck in when they breathe
Most of the time asthma is treated by inhaled medicine.
This way, the medicine gets straight into the lung and sticks where it needs to be.
There is preventative medication like Flixotide which should be taken every day to help prevent an asthma episode
There are controller medicines too like Serevent, for when preventers are not enough.
Then there is reliever medication which normally comes in the form of Ventolin or your ‘blue’ inhaler. This helps to open up your airways by mimicking adrenaline.
There is also oral medicine called singular which is sometimes prescribed.
Most inhalers should be taken by children through a spacer device. This is a more effective way of delivering the medication for a child and they are portable.
Children should have an asthma action plan which you would follow in the case of an asthma episode.
When giving the blue Ventolin inhaler, it should be given with a spacer and you take one puff to 4 breaths.
The amount of puffs will be written on your action plan.
If you become very concerned about your child, or if they become very short of breath, unable to speak or lips turn blue, call an ambulance.
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