Asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting more than 2.3 million Australians – that’s one in 10.
Asthma in young children is one of the most common causes of hospital admission and visits to the doctor.
It is also the leading health reason that children are absent from childcare and school placing children with asthma at a disadvantage as learning and social development is impacted.
A child with asthma can also affect the whole household emotionally and often, financially.
Unfortunately, diagnosing a child under 5 years old is difficult as there are many reasons for wheezing and coughing at that age. It may be frustrating for parents to understand what they are dealing with, however, if your child has been diagnosed with asthma there is a lot that you can do to reduce the risk of your child getting sick.
Having an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan developed in conjunction with your child’s doctor is a good start.
What is an Asthma Action Plan
An Asthma Action Plan is a written set of instructions prepared with your doctor or nurse that helps you to stay in control of your asthma. It can be shared with childcare, school, and other carers to ensure your child is safe when you’re not there.
Your child’s written Asthma Action Plan outlines:
- What medication they need to take every day – even when well.
- How to tell if your child’s asthma is getting worse.
- What should be done if your child’s symptoms are getting worse.
- What to do in the event of an asthma attack.
Having a written asthma action plan helps to:
- Reduce the chance of needing to go to hospital, or for an urgent doctor visit.
- Reduce the number of days off childcare or school due to asthma.
It is also a good idea to speak to your doctor or pharmacist to get your child’s inhaler technique reviewed. It is thought that as many as 90 oer cent of people don’t use their puffer correctly, so don’t be afraid to get it checked out just to make sure, as there is no point taking medication if it’s not being used right.
Support is available
Asthma is a complex disease and it affects everyone differently, some experience more severe symptoms than others and triggers are different for everyone.
If you are confused about your child’s asthma and how to manage it or just feel that you would benefit from discussing their asthma with somebody that has the knowledge to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact a medical professional.
– this article was kindly supplied by Asthma Australia