As the parent or guardian of a child with asthma, you have lots of questions about how you can make your home, your school and other environments safe and healthy for your child.
Most children who have asthma develop their first symptoms before 5 years of age. However, asthma in young children can be hard to diagnose. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a child has asthma or another childhood condition because the symptoms of both conditions can be similar.
To help your pediatrician make a correct diagnosis, be prepared to provide information about family history of asthma or allergies, the child’s overall behavior, breathing patterns and responses to foods or possible allergy triggers. Lung function tests—often used to make a definitive asthma diagnosis—are very hard to do with young children. The doctor may use a 4 to 6 week trial of asthma medicines to see if they make a difference in your child’s symptoms.
Another important factor in controlling your child’s asthma is understanding what triggers are, which triggers your child is sensitive to, and reducing your child’s exposure to the things that cause asthma attacks.
You can have a big impact on how well your child deals with asthma by how well you deal with your child’s asthma. Listen to your child. Support him or her. Say how proud you are of how well he or she is managing asthma.