Sunday, May 18, 2008

Asthma Warning Signs in children

******Another post I am posting over from my old wordpress blog- it has been getting recent searches and an its a good topic to read...

My daughter suffered from asthma when she was one- thankfully she outgrew it. Asthma is a very scary disease-especially if it is a new diagnosis for your child…..

Every child with asthma has a built-in early warning system that signals when symptoms are on the way. Those signals can be seen, heard, and felt. Every child has his or own pattern of signals. But parents and children can make keen observation a habit and learn how to recognize those patterns — the body’s messages to get going and head off those symptoms before they get bad.

Anxious or scared look
Cough, especially at night
Unusual paleness or sweating
Flared nostrils when the child tries to get some air
Pursed lips breathing
Fast breathing
Hunched-over body posture; the child can’t stand or sit straight and can’t relax
Restlessness during sleep
Fatigue and breathlessness
The notch just above the child’s Adam’s apple; when some children are having an asthma episode, this notch sinks in as they breathe in
Spaces between the ribs; these areas may sink in when the child breathes in

Coughing when the child has no cold
Clearing of the throat a lot
Irregular Breathing
Wheezing, however light
Noisy, difficult breathing

Put your ear to the child’s back and your hand on his or her chest. You’ll feel the chest go up as the child inhales, drawing in air, and you’ll feel the chest go down as the child exhales, releasing air.
Listen for squeaking or any unusual noises. They may mean asthma, bronchitis, or a chest infection. Only a doctor can tell for sure. So regard any noisy breathing as a signal that help may be necessary.
Note: If the child is having symptoms and there are no chest sounds, it’s a sign of a bad, fixed chest that requires medical attention. Call your doctor immediately.

Reassure the child by your tone of voice, your attitude of being able to manage and your confidence. All these qualities are catching. Your child will take cues from you and relax.
If the doctor has recommended a medicine when signals appear, use it. (Don’t give the child a special dose unless the doctor said to.)
Encourage normal fluid intake. Excessive fluid intake may be counter productive.

Help your child relax.
If you can find out what triggered the symptoms, remove it - or the child from the area.
Your experience and judgment can help you decide what further measures to take in addition to calling the doctor.

Having any one of these signs means medical care is needed. Call your doctor or get emergency medical care if your child exhibits any of these signs.
Wheeze, cough, or shortness of breath gets worse, even after the medicine has been given time to work. Most inhaled bronchodilator medications produce an effect within 5 to 10 minutes. Discuss the time your medicines take to work with your child’s doctor.
Child has a hard time breathing. Signs of this are:
Chest and neck are pulled or sucked in with each breath.
Struggling to breathe.
Child has trouble walking or talking, stops playing and cannot start again.
Peak flow rate gets lower, or does not improve after treatment with bronchodilators, or drops to 50 percent or less of your child’s personal best. Discuss this peak flow level with your child’s doctor.
Lips or fingernails are gray or blue. If this happens, GO TO A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER OR EMERGENCY ROOM RIGHT AWAY!

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