As a parent what can I do towards early detection of asthma in my child?
Asthma is considered one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood and there is no cure. The best that a parent can do is seek medical treatment for the child and try to get the disease under control.
But how do you know if you should take your child to a doctor to determine if he or she has asthma? There are certain signs you can look for that will help determine if your child may be suffering from childhood asthma. If you detect any of these signs it is strongly recommended that you take your child to a doctor as soon as possible where a proper diagnosis can be made.
Symptoms of asthma are already listed but you can look for these symptoms in your child:
- Coughing and wheezing are two prominent signs of asthma. Wheezing is like a whistling sound when breathing and often occurs after a child has been running and playing.
- A tight feeling in the chest and shortness of breath after playing or exercise is also important to signs of asthma and if you suspect your child might have asthma you should pay close attention to your child during playtime and after playtime for these symptoms.
- Colds can be difficult for children with asthma as the cold symptoms tend to concentrate on the chest, which affects breathing, and the colds tend to last longer.
- Children with asthma also tend to have more respiratory illnesses than normal and they are more severe. Often this is an indicator of “hidden asthma.” Children with hidden asthma often do not show the “classic” symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and this can make diagnosing asthma very difficult.
- Allergies can also spark asthma symptoms and asthma attacks. If you know that your child is allergic to certain allergens whether it is food, pollen, mold, or something else, pay close attention to your child if an unavoidable situation arises that he or she comes in contact with an allergen. Is there an increase in breathing difficulties, wheezing, or coughing? Asthma is often induced by exposure to an allergen and can lead to an asthma attack.
If you detect any symptoms of asthma in your child at any time it is important that your child sees a doctor and is tested for childhood asthma as soon as possible. Your family doctor or pediatrician may refer you to asthma and allergy specialist. Treatments are available that many times will keep childhood asthma under control.