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HOW TO BE PREPARED FOR YOUR CHILD’S ASTHMA ATTACKS

PrepareForAsthmaAttack

After a child receives an asthma diagnosis, it's common for parents to panic or experience                                                                increased anxiety about their child's condition.


It's true that some cases of asthma can become very serious very quickly. However, a large majority
of children with asthma can keep their flare-ups under control with the right plans and
precautions.

Here's what you, as a parent, can do to help your asthmatic child:

1. BECOME FAMILIAR WITH YOUR ASTHMA ACTION PLAN.
After a diagnosis, your pediatrician will provide you and your child with an asthma action plan.
These directions are NOT just a recommendation. They're your child's best chance of avoiding a
serious asthma attack.

The step-by-step instructions tell you everything you need to know to help your child – from taking
medication to avoiding certain triggers to recognizing and handling flare-ups.

Both you and your child need to know this plan very well. Plus, you should keep it in a safe
accessible place so you know where to find it in case of an emergency.

2. TAKE MEDICINE CORRECTLY.
There are two basic types of asthma medication: quick-relief medicine and preventative medicine.

Quick-relief medicine (albuterol or xopenex) is taken with an inhaler or nebulizer to open up the
airways during an asthma attack. Meanwhile, preventative medicine – often in the form of a pill or
liquid – is taken on a daily basis to avoid flare-ups altogether.

Depending on the severity and nature of your child's asthma, they may only require the quick-relief
medication option. If your pediatrician DOES prescribe preventative medicine, your child needs to
keep to a regular daily schedule. Even skipping one dose can increase the risk of frequent or
serious attacks.

3. USE THE RIGHT TOOLS.
In addition to the prescribed medicine, it's a good idea to purchase a peak flow meter
and keep an asthma diary.


A peak flow meter is a simple tool that allows your child to measure how well they can release air
from their lungs. In other words, it shows whether their airways are inflamed and swollen (i.e. an
asthma attack).

An asthma diary provides a simple way to monitor your child's symptoms, treatments, and warning
signs, allowing you to stay several steps ahead of the condition.

4. GET TO KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS.
After your child has experienced several asthma attacks, you'll probably be able to identify some
of the major early warning signs. Common signs include:

● Constant throat-clearing
● Irregular or rapid breathing patterns
● Chest tightness
● Increased difficulty breathing while active
● Unexplained changes in mood or energy levels
● Restlessness
● And obvious symptoms like coughing and wheezing

Remember, every case of asthma is different. The signs won't necessarily look the same from child
to child.

5. CREATE A PLAN FOR A SEVERE ATTACK.
Although we hope it never comes to this, you should have a plan in case the symptoms are serious
enough to warrant a trip to the Emergency Room (ER).

First and foremost, you – and anyone caring for your child – should have quick-relief medicine on
hand AT ALL TIMES.
That means you need to supply an inhaler or nebulizer (and instructions on how
to use them) to the school nurse or teacher, sports coaches, and babysitters.

And you should ALWAYS know the location of the closest ER, whether you're at home or traveling. If
you have other kids, it's probably a good idea to have a couple of people on hand who could watch
them as you tend to the needs of your asthmatic child.

Please seek immediate care if your child shows any of the following symptoms:

● Blue or gray lips or fingernails
● Flared nostrils when attempting to inhale
● Persistent breathlessness and wheezing that does not improve within 5 to 10 minutes of a
   second dose
● Peak flow reading approaching or falling below 50% (red zone)
● Unusual paleness or sweating
● Exceptional difficulty speaking, walking, or playing
● Noticeable sinking of skin between the ribs or in the neck while breathing in
● Hunched over posture
● Or vomiting

6. AVOID ANY IDENTIFIED TRIGGERS.
Asthma attacks can be caused by a wide array of triggers, including:

● pollen
● mold
● animals
● exercise or other intense activities
● weather changes
● cold air
● tobacco smoke
● perfume
● viral or respiratory infections
● aspirin
● and more!

Because allergies are often closely tied with asthma, make sure you have your child tested for the
most common (local) allergens
. And once you are aware of your child's triggers, do what you can to
avoid or minimize them as much as possible.

7. ALWAYS GET THE FLU SHOT.
We suggest ALL kids get a yearly flu vaccine. However, this recommendation gets some special
emphasis for children with asthma. A respiratory condition, the flu significantly increases an
asthmatic child's risk of serious illness.

8. MAKE IT A TEAM EFFORT.
Your child is far more likely to develop good habits with their medicine and maintain better
control of their condition if they play an active role in the planning process. Involve them as you
learn and review your pediatrician's asthma action plan, and work together to create an asthma
monitoring strategy.

HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR CHILD'S ASTHMA?
Schedule an appointment with your family pediatrician. From diagnosis to treatment to
follow-up, the Carolina Pediatrics team will provide you and your child with the care you need!
Reach out to us through the Carolina Pediatrics patient portal.
WHEN TO TAKE YOUR CHILD TO THE DOCTOR FOR SUNBURN
WHICH BABY FORMULA OPTIONS ARE SAFE IN WILMINGTON...

Wilmington Office

Address:
715 Medical Center Drive
Wilmington, NC  28401

Phone: (910)763-2476
FAX: (910)763-8176

Click here for more information.

Hampstead Office

Address:
16747 US HWY 17N, Suite 114 Hampstead, NC  28443

Phone: (910) 777-2013
FAX: (910) 821-1060

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