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7 Approaches to Helping Our Asthmatic Children

As common as asthma is, when we discover that our kids have it, it can be overwhelming depending on the severity of the condition itself. But with the right strategies and support, your child can manage their condition effectively. But how do we do this? Let’s show you some approaches to ensure that anybody with asthma can benefit.

As common as asthma is, when we discover that our kids have it, it can be overwhelming depending on the severity of the condition itself. But with the right strategies and support, your child can manage their condition effectively. But how do we do this? Let's show you some approaches to ensure that anybody with asthma can benefit.

An Asthma-Friendly Home Environment

One of the keys is ventilation. If our kids spend a lot of time breathing in stale air, this isn’t going to help. We should encourage proper oxygenation of the cells, and this means ensuring that we are creating an environment that will remove those airborne particles that can trigger asthma flare-ups. 

For example, in the kitchen, a variety of range hoods can effectively remove these airborne particles and improve indoor air quality. You also need to look at minimizing the exposure to allergens within the home. You could implement dust-mite-proof bedding, use air purifiers, and regularly vacuum your home. There are other things that we can do as well, for example, removing carpet.

Carpets are one of those things that easily trap dust mites and can result in poor air quality within the home because every time we trample over a carpet, we’re releasing those allergens into the air. Removing carpets and replacing them with hardwood floors is a great way to ensure that you are covering all bases within the home.


Encourage Proper Breathing Techniques

If there’s one thing that we can do to ensure that our children are able to manage asthma, it’s to encourage breathing with the right techniques. We should take the time to explain asthma to our child in an age-appropriate manner so they can have an understanding of symptoms, triggers, and why it’s so important to follow their treatment plan. 

For example, techniques such as Buteyko breathing can help to reduce the risk of asthma symptoms in combination with medication. It’s not a very well-known approach, but it stems from the concept of nasal breathing and breathing shallowly. There is a lot of information that talks about taking deep breaths, which actually can result in an asthma attack. Learning to reduce stress or physical activity is critical, and when you incorporate this type of breathing into a routine, it can be very beneficial.


Create an Asthma Action Plan

If there’s one thing we need to do, it’s working with our child’s healthcare providers to develop a personalized asthma action plan. Everybody’s asthma is different, and some can easily find themselves experiencing an asthma attack after very little exertion. 

Having a proper plan that outlines the main triggers, daily management strategies, and step-by-step instructions on what your child can do during an asthma attack can make all the difference. 

We should share this plan with anybody involved in our child’s care, such as teachers, and make sure they understand the signs of an impending asthma attack.


Proper Medication Management

With asthma medication, having consistent use and taking it as prescribed is vital to control symptoms. Our child can easily feel that they don’t need to take asthma medication if they’re feeling okay or if all of their friends are able to run and play. Our children may not want to feel singled out for whatever reason, which is why prevention is always better than cure. 

If you notice that your child is coughing more after certain activities or they are feeling the cold a bit more, this can have an effect on the upper respiratory tract, which could result in respiratory tract infections, which means that symptoms can easily worsen. Proper medication management is about establishing a routine and communicating with your child the importance of taking them as directed. It’s also essential to have the rescue inhalers easily accessible and ensure that they are not expiring. 

Also make sure that your child is using the right techniques to absorb the medication, because if our children are bored or want to go do something else, they may not take the medication properly, and this is very easily done with regards to asthma meds. But we should always prioritize the proper technique with regards to breathing in and doing it as the healthcare provider has prescribed. This could mean them holding their breath or taking a very deep inhale.


Being Prepared for Emergencies

We’ve already talked about the importance of being proactive and prevention being better than cure. We should always be ready for an emergency, and this means making sure that our children understand what certain asthma symptoms are for them. Younger children may not recognize that their breathing has changed, or they are not paying attention to the very initial signs of an asthma flare-up. 

It’s important to hope for the best but also be prepared for these instances. Our child should also have emergency contact information readily available, whether in school or at home. And if we’re hoping for some extra peace of mind, we may benefit from the first aid course that covers managing asthma attacks.


Open Communication

Encouraging our children to express their feelings and concerns about asthma may seem like overkill, but we need to make sure that our children feel comfortable discussing the condition. This can be a great sense of emotional support that can foster their overall well-being. This is particularly important with younger children. It can almost instantly become a routine where they take their inhalers first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and this might be all your child needs.

But over time, your child may wonder why they are having to do this, especially when their friends don’t. Open communication is about making sure your child feels knowledgeable and comfortable discussing asthma. Some children “grow out” of asthma, and this can happen around the age of 10. But if our children then need to continue taking their medication, we need to discuss the importance of adhering to this and also having regular checkups with the doctor to ensure that they’re on the right dosage.


Encouraging Regular Exercise

We have to remember that physical activity is essential for overall health. When kids have asthma, as parents, we can easily feel like we shouldn’t allow them to do anything in case there is a flare-up. However, there’s plenty of exercises and routines that can strengthen the lungs. If we encourage our children to exercise, whether it’s playing games like soccer or swimming, these have a cardiovascular benefit which can strengthen the respiratory system and, of course, have a number of other health benefits. This can help them to manage their weight, and this will have a positive impact on their asthma. We can easily overlook the fact that being overweight can result in more severe asthma symptoms. 

Regular exercise is something we should actively encourage but also teach our children to recognize the signs of an asthma flare-up. Known as exercise-induced asthma, this is a very common thing but as long as our children have their medication and are able to calm their breathing down quickly, this can potentially reduce any severe symptoms, but it also becomes a habit that they can use in their lives to manage their asthma more effectively.


When our children have a diagnosis of asthma, we need to undertake a number of approaches that don’t just involve the medication side of things but encompass the environment, physical health, and so much more. If you can incorporate some of these approaches into your child’s life, they will be able to manage their asthma symptoms effectively and thrive in any circumstances.

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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the owner of TWL Working Moms. She is a full time teacher, a mom & step mom, and NBCT Facilitator. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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