It’s a fact: Asthma is on the rise and compromising the lives of our children. And, just as they’re especially susceptible to many other things, babies are uniquely vulnerable to asthmagens. Not only are their immune and metabolic systems still developing and less capable of battling environmental offenders, they also have much smaller bronchial tubes – so small that even relatively minor congestion caused by mucus or infections can make breathing extremely difficult.
Does your infant have asthma? Only your health care provider can tell you for sure. Whether you suspect it or have a confirmed diagnosis, here are 5 essential tips for dealing with this serious condition.
1. Develop a care plan. Work with your health care provider to develop an asthma care management plan for your child. Make copies of the plan and share with everyone who cares for your child.
2. Reduce exposure to asthmagens. Asthmagens are substances that trigger asthma and many are found in everyday products like cleaners and care products containing things like solvents and fragrances. Look for natural, non-toxic products – not just safer baby-care products, but also safer cleaners and other household products.
3. Reduce exposure to allergens. Allergens like dust mites, cockroaches, mold, or animal dander can trigger or worsen symptoms in some children with asthma. About 75 to 80 percent of children with asthma also have significant allergies.
4. Use baby signs. Baby signing is similar to sign language and helps you communicate with babies and toddlers who often understand much more than they can speak. Once your child is starting to understand language, try using consistent hand signals for communicating any discomfort so you can detect and address asthma attacks before they get serious.
5. Schedule regular check-ups. Family life can get beyond hectic, but make sure you’re prioritizing check-ups with your pediatrician. Record any changes in your child’s overall health to discuss with your health care provider and make any adjustments necessary to your child’s care plan.
Studies show approximately 50 percent of children with asthma appear to outgrow it when they reach adolescence. Hang in there! By following these tips and being proactive about your child’s health and well-being, you’re investing in a brighter future for your baby.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Before undertaking any course of treatment, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.