Although there is no known cure for asthma, modern asthma management can effectively reduce a child’s symptoms and allow her to lead a full and active life. Regular contact with your doctor and close monitoring of your child are important.
Your doctor will develop an asthma management plan with you, and explain when to use the medication and what to do if symptoms get worse. This should be written down for you to keep at home. A vital part of any plan is a review meeting with a doctor or nurse every few months. You should monitor your child’s symptoms closely and consult your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Wheezing and coughing in the early morning.
- Increased symptoms after exercise or exertion.
- Waking at night with a cough or wheeze.
- Increased use of bronchodilator therapy.
An emergency plan Any asthma attack can be life-threatening, so have an emergency plan agreed with your doctor for very severe attacks. Make sure all adults in whose care your child will be – baby- sitters, relatives, teachers, and parents of children your child may visit – are informed about the plan.
- At the start of the attack, give your child her usual bronchodilator. Wait about ten minutes.
- If there is no improvement, call 911.
- Repeat the treatment until the breathing symptoms improve or help arrives.
- Give your child steroid tablets if they’ve been prescribed by your doctor.
- Keep your child in an upright position.
CYSTIC FIBROSIS: An inherited condition that affects mainly the lungs and the pancreas, cystic fibrosis (CF) is also known as mucoviscidosis because it produces thick and sticky mucus in the lungs and the pancreas.
CF is the number one genetic killer of children in the U.S., affecting approximately one in every 2,500 children, though in different degrees. Recently one of the genes responsible for CF has been discovered and there is now a chance that there will be improved treatment for CF in the next decade or two.