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Raising a Child with Asthma: Part 5 Tips for Moms

ASTHMA. Part 5; Tips for Moms Raising Asthmatic Kids

Moms need to stick together. We learn from each other, not put each other down. If you have a little one who suffers from asthma, and you are in need of some new tips and tricks for dealing with asthma in your kids, this for you!

Tips & Tricks for Asthma in Kids

Here are a few things that we implement for treating asthma, as well as some tips from others. Some of these can offer relief or improvement.

  • The basic advice you have probably already heard, but is worth repeating, is to identify if possible the triggers for your child’s asthma. We have determined that the being exposed to a virus or a cold, or seasonal changes as Caylyn’s main triggers.
  • Be mindful of dust. Even if you’re not highly allergic to dust, it couldn’t hurt to clean the air. I purchased a mattress cover that zips over the whole mattress. I try to vacuum often (we have a dog to), and wash sheets AND COMFORTER once a week, including stuffed animals. Installing hardwoods instead of carpet or eliminating stuffed animals are other steps to take. We also took down her  drapes in her room.
  • Use a HEPA air filter and changing it monthly. You can see at your local home store which air filters are best for allergens and highest quality of purifying air. This is not the time to be picky – get the best! You want a filter that really cleans out the air in your home. Try to change it monthly and sometimes even more if needed.
  • Have them take a shower before bed to get rid of any allergens (outdoor, animal, even food, etc.). But dry their hair before bed!
  • Consider an anti-inflammatory diet: What they eat (and drink) can cause flare-ups and other side-effects.
  • Inhaled cortisteroids. These are the medicines I talked about a few blogs earlier, such as Flovent or Qvar that you inhale daily. They do not treat asthma immediately, but reduce inflammation in the lungs. I do think these have helped her, but on high doses I see behavioral side effects, so try to limit them. I do think they work though.
  • Utilize rest during asthma flare-ups. Any extra movement – talking, running, etc. is more work on the lungs, thereby stressing them. We watch videos, ride them in the stroller, read, anything to keep them still.
  • Stay hydrated.  Keeping the lungs hydrated is a tremendous help with asthma (drink water).
  • Use a humidifier. Lots of the dry air in the winter can increase coughing, thus increasing inflammation. Just make sure you clean the humidifier, or else you’ll be dealing with mold, which is not good for asthma!
  • Lots of vitamin C. Naturally occuring in fruit, or as a supplement.
  • Avoid food additives and fried foods. I have definitely noticed how this can bring her from the “yellow warning zone” to the “red danger zone” in her asthma. I try to avoid additives, period, but especially during flare-ups, we avoid any heavy, greasy, fried dishes (she doesn’t really like that anyway). And we avoid foods/snacks with dyes or high-fructose corn syrup in them (at home anyway; sometimes at school or other times they slip in). Read your labels:)
  • Avoid sugar during flare-ups. We stick to natural sugars in fruits for snacks during times when asthma is bad. Sugar lowers the immune response, and I want her immune system to be functioning as best as it can when he is dealing with asthma. This is a great list, a lot of these ingredients are awful for kids with allergies or asthma!

  • Remain calm. This advice applies during asthma flares or an attack. Asthma can be strongly related to emotional triggers. If kids feel stressed or afraid, the breathing difficulties can increase. I have had several doctors or pediatricians stress to me the importance of remaining calm and keeping the child calm during asthma attacks.
  • Fresh outdoor air. This can vary child to child. You probably would not want to rush from warm, inside air to freezing outside air, as that can actually make asthma worse. And of course if asthma is triggered by a a blossoming outdoor plant, ignore this advice. ? But I have definitely seen improvement at times by taking her outside for fresh air. It’s an idea to try.
  • Have an asthma action plan. This is a sample of a blank one you can get from kidshealth.org, but you can also ask your specialist if they have one.

http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/action-plan-sheet.html

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I am by far NO EXPERT on this condition, but, just a mom sharing her journey. There are things I have learned, that I wish I knew before. I just want to share my story and maybe help others along the way. I know I am NOT alone with this, and we all need to stick together and share what we know.

PLEASE NOTE THAT NO MEDICAL ADVICE IS PROVIDED IN THIS BLOG, AND YOU ARE URGED TO CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR IN RELATION TO THE MANAGEMENT OF ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES. It is important to research any alternatives you consider and to INCLUDE YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL IN YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS PRIOR TO MAKING ANY CHANGES to your medical regime. What may work for one person may not work for everyone.

 

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