Posts Tagged ‘wheezing’

Inhale, exhale … inhale, exhale …Asthma is more common than you might think! According to KidsHealth.org, “As many as 9 million kids in the United States have it. Asthma affects about 1 or 2 kids out of 10. That means if you have 20 kids in your class, 2-4 of them might have asthma. Asthma can start at any age — even in a little baby or an adult — but it’s most common in school-age kids.”

Asthma is a condition that affects a person’s airways. These tubes lead from the windpipe into the lungs. But for kids with asthma, breathing can be a lot more difficult because their airways are very sensitive. An asthma attack or episode happens when a person’s airways get swollen and narrower and it becomes a lot harder for air to get in and out of the lungs.

In between flare-ups, a kid’s breathing can be totally normal or seem that way. But during a flare-up, it can feel like the person is breathing through a straw. A kid with asthma may wheeze (a whistling sound when he or she breathes), cough, and feel tightness in the chest.

According to Michael Welch, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, “In the past, doctors were reluctant to make the diagnosis before age 5 or 6. Now, it’s more common for doctors to diagnose a preschooler, a toddler, or even a baby with asthma.”

Why do kids get asthma?
There are a lot of reasons or triggers. Some kids are sensitive to allergens (ug! What I have!). Common allergens for kids with asthma include dust mites (tiny bugs that live in dust), mold (if you’ve ever been in a damp basement and smelled something funny, it was probably mold), and pollen (from trees, grass, and weeds).

Kids who have asthma should try to avoid things that can cause their airways to tighten. But some triggers — like cats, colds, and chalk dust — can’t always be avoided. That’s why kids who are sensitive to those things must manage their asthma by taking medication.


4 Ways to Prevent Asthma at Home with your Kids:

1.  Limit dust exposure. Babies and toddler spend much of their day in their rooms, so removing dust from these common areas is a great place to start. Here’s how to cut down on the dust in your child’s room. 

  • Remove carpets and heavy drapes or try to vacuum them frequently to sweep up dust!
  • Wash all bedding and stuffed animals frequently in hot water
  • Purchase allergen-barrier coverings for the pillows and mattresses

2.  Protect your child from tobacco smoke. This is a significant asthma trigger. Some people think that smoking in a different room or outside is safe enough, but tobacco smoke gets into your hair and clothes, and your child then inhales it.

3.  Reduce or eliminate the pet factor. Many kids are allergic to pet dander. It’s best not to keep a pet at home if it triggers your child’s reactions. If that’s not possible, at least keep the cat or dog out of your child’s room.

4.  Kill those roaches. Living in New York, even the cleanest homes can have problems with cockroaches. This is a common allergen for urban children with asthma, and parents should do all they can to eliminate cockroaches from their homes.


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