What is pediatric asthma?
Childhood asthma is also known in the medical field as pediatric asthma. This type of asthma is the most common serious chronic disease among infants and children, but however, it is also very difficult for doctors and pediatricians to diagnose. In infants and children, asthma may appear to be as:
- Wheezing when the child is breathing
- Excessive coughing
- Rapid breathing
- Labored breathing
- Complaining of the chest hurting
- Decrease of energy
- Feelings of tiredness or weakness
Some children actually only get these symptoms when they are physically active, like when exercising or playing a sport. If that is the case, it is called exercise-induced bronchospasm. Pediatric asthma, is just like asthma in adults in the sense that it cannot be cured. But however, with the right medications and appropriate treatment plan, the symptoms can be controlled nicely. It is extremely important to catch pediatric asthma in the early stages in order to prevent damage to the growing lungs in children.
What are some risk factors for my child developing pediatric asthma?
There are many risk factors to keep a lookout for to help prevent you child from developing childhood asthma. Some of these are factors that are uncontrollable – however, it is up to the parents to control the factors that they are able to in order to minimize the chances of their child developing pediatric asthma. Some of these risk factors can include:
- Environmental allergies
- Family history of having allergies and/or asthma
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Low birth weight
- Exposure to second-hand smoke before and/or after birth
- Growing up and living in a low income urban environment
What pediatric asthma treatments are available to my child?
Parents will need to partner with their pediatrician first in order to be able to schedule testing of pediatric asthma. Once the testing is complete and the results come back, the initial treatment plan will highly depend on the severity of the child’s asthma. The primary goal of pediatric asthma treatment is to keep the symptoms under control – meaning that the child has:
- Very minimal or no symptoms of asthma
- Very few or no asthma flare-ups
- Little to no limitations on participating in physical activities or exercise
- Minimal use of rescue inhalers for quick relief
- Very little or no side effects from the usage of medications
For doctors and pediatricians – treating asthma involves both preventing the symptoms from reoccurring and also treating an asthma attack that is in progress. Finding the right medication for your child will depend on a number of different factors which includes their age, symptoms, triggers and also which treatment seems to work best in order to keep his or her asthma symptoms under control. For children who are younger than the age 3, and who have mild symptoms of asthma, their doctor or pediatrician may use a wait-and-see approach in their case. This is because of the long-term effects of different asthma medications; the effects of the medications are not entirely clear on infants and young children. However, in the case of an infant or toddler having frequent to severe wheezing episodes, the doctor or pediatrician may prescribe a medication to see if it helps improve symptoms. So, if your child is showing any symptoms of pediatric asthma, come and talk to the experts at KidsHealth Pediatrics today. We have 2 convenient locations in Scottsdale, AZ and Glendale, AZ. Call us.