Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting children. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs and airways, the tubes that bring air into and out of the lungs. If your baby has asthma, these airways are irritated and swollen and this can affect his ability to breathe. It is important to prevent and treat asthma attacks with the right medications, education and regular medical follow-up.
Symptoms of asthma in infants:
Tiredness, child is not interested in normal or favourite activities
Working harder to breathe like nostrils flaring, skin is sucking in around and between ribs or above the sternum, or exaggerated belly movement
Panting with normal activities such as playing
Wheezing is a whistling sound
Difficulty in sucking or eating
Blue coloured or very pale colouring in face, lips and fingernails
Treatment of asthma:
If your baby has asthma always consult your pediatrician. The doctor will help you to first figure out what triggers the attacks and then you do your best to help your child avoid those triggers. Some children have attacks only when they have a cold. Drugs known as controllers are used to prevent asthma attacks. These include inhaled steroids which help to reduce inflammation and swelling and also prevent your baby from wheezing.
Give your baby daily inhaled steroid medicine using either an MDI or a nebuliser, depending on the steroid prescribed by a paediatrician. There are various types of medications that are used to treat asthma. Quick relief medications such as albuterol help to open airways immediately and make breathing easier. Long-term control medications such as inhaled steroids help reduce or even eliminate asthma symptoms on an ongoing basis. The main aim of asthma treatment for your child is listed below. Your child should be able to:
Live an active, normal life
Prevent chronic symptoms
Avoid asthma symptoms during the night
Perform daily activities, play and engage in sports without any type of difficulty
Use medications to control asthma with little or no side effects