Recent reports suggest asthma rates continue to rise in children across most demographics. As a parent of a child with asthma, there’s a lot of pressure to make smart choices and oversee their health. However, if you’re unfamiliar with asthma, it can be challenging to know what to do in certain situations. Let’s take a look at five fast facts you need to know about parenting a child who has asthma.
1. There Are Many Different Causes
Asthma is a largely misunderstood condition in the sense that the exact causes are hard to pinpoint. Is there one? Are there many? These are the questions the medical community has been attempting to answer for years. And while the answer could change with some future discovery or revelation, experts presently believe that asthma is rooted in many different causes.
According to one study out of the UK, energy efficiency could actually be a culprit. Specifically, energy efficient homes ventilate less, which leads to damper environments with higher moisture content. These environments are more conducive to mold, which can exacerbate asthmas symptoms and lead to attacks.
Others believe that giving antibiotics to infants can make them more prone to asthma later in life. The premise is that overuse leads to bacterial resistance. As a result, these infants with resistance are twice as likely to develop wheezing.
Other studies and researched opinions claim everything from allergies to spray-on sunscreen can cause attacks.
2. Children in Poverty Face Higher Risk
As asthma rates increase in the United States, it’s becoming clear that economic status is related to the prevalence of the condition. While there has been a decline in asthma rates for a handful of affluent demographics, these rates continue to rise for impoverished children between the ages of 10 and 17. This is likely due to the fact that those in poverty don’t have as much access to clean air and sanitary living conditions.
3. Most Attacks Can Be Prevented
While parents may not be capable of preventing asthma, the good news is that asthma attacks are largely avoidable. By understanding your child’s triggers and working hard to mitigate risks, you can help them enjoy a healthier life.
Sometimes preventing asthma attacks is as simple as making dietary changes. Since asthma is a condition that results from inflammation of the air passages, the goal is to reduce inflammation in the body and avoid triggers. According to one study, patients who consume two to five apples per week have a 32 percent lower risk of asthma than those who eat fewer. Other suggestions are to consume high amounts of vitamin C and D, while eliminating excess sodium intake.
4. Sometimes the ER Is the Best Solution
As a parent, you’re often left debating whether or not to take your child to the ER during an asthma attack. If it’s a minor attack, you don’t want to waste hundreds of dollars on a visit. However, if it’s a serious attack, you certainly want your child to receive prompt medical attention.
Whenever there is any question, err on the side of caution. Speak with your child’s doctor ahead of time and ask them for a detailed asthma action plan that allows you to make sound judgments regarding care during attacks and flare-ups.
5. Kids Can Outgrow Asthma
While much of the research surrounding asthma is vague and unclear, there are multiple studies that show children can outgrow asthma as they age. Keep this in mind and do everything you can to put your child in the right position to improve their health and achieve freedom from this limiting condition.
Putting it All Together
As a parent of a child with asthma, it can be intimidating to continually monitor your child’s health. However, you can rest easy knowing you aren’t alone. Keep these five facts in mind and do your best to stay educated and informed.