Monday, May 14, 2012

Do You Care for a Child with Asthma?

Asthma and Allergy Awareness

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." It's a peak season for asthma and allergy sufferers, and a perfect time to educate family, friends, and others about these diseases.

Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. Indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode, or attack or make asthma worse. If a child you care for has asthma, they may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers. Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to their asthma triggers.

Common asthma triggers include: secondhand smoke, dust mites, molds, cockroaches and pests, pets, stress, and chemical irritants.

Common asthma symptoms include: cough, tight feeling in the chest, wheezing, activity limitation, and feeling tired. Keeping track of the child's symptoms will help you stay in control of their asthma.

medications. Also keep a detailed log recording what type of medicine, the amount of the medication, and time you administered the medication to the child. Keep the records so you can show the list to the parents and healthcare providers.

Make sure you know the child's asthma action plan created by the child's doctors and parents so you know what to do in an emergency. The asthma action plan tells you the steps you need to take in an emergency situation. It should list what medicines to administer and how to administer medication. The action plan should include: emergency telephone numbers for the doctor, emergency department, rapid transportation, and family/friends for support.

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