Did you know that more than 6.2 million children in the U.S suffer from asthma? It has become known as the most common chronic respiratory disease experienced worldwide.
Asthma can cause moderate to severe respiratory complications for children, which can be extremely worrying for parents. That's why along with their asthma medication, parents can go the extra mile by monitoring their health with the LOOKEE® Smart KidsO2™.
In this piece, we'll explore how asthma affects young children, and various precautions parents can take to keep their condition under control.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a lung disease characterized by: variable and reversible airway obstruction, airway inflammation, and bronchial hyper-responsiveness."
Asthma is a disease where bronchial tubes are sensitive to irritants, which cause inflammation and breathing difficulties.
The inflammation can lead to:
* contraction of muscles around the air passages,
* swelling of the airway lining due to airway inflammation, and,
* excessive mucus in the airways.
Severe Cases - Asthma Attacks
When a person experiences a worsening of their asthma symptoms, it is called an asthma episode or, in severe cases, an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, smooth muscles around the bronchial tubes contract, narrowing the airway openings so less air can flow through.
Asthma attacks are not all the same-some are worse than others. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that insufficient oxygen gets to vital organs. This condition is a medical emergency. People can die from severe asthma attacks.
Learning the warning signs or asthma symptoms can often alert a sufferer in time to take preventive action, such as medication or natural remedies.
Asthma attacks can occur over a long period of time. Although there are times when acute episodes strike asthmatics, most asthma patients say that there are extended periods during which they suffer few, if any, symptoms.
Common asthma symptoms include:
- Chest tightness
- Prolonged coughing.
- Shortness of breath or breathing very rapidly.
- Wheezing, which cause a whistling sounds.
Not all children have these symptoms, and symptoms may vary from one asthma attack to another. Some are mild, and some are life-threatening.
Symptoms also differ in how often they occur. Some children with asthma only have symptoms once every few months, others have symptoms every week, and others have symptoms every day.
Oxygen Monitors to Track Your Child's Health
An oxygen monitor can come in handy when looking after a child with asthma. The LOOKEE® Smart KidsO2™ accurately tracks a child's oxygen levels and heart rate throughout the day. When these stats drop below normal levels, an alarm will go off to alert the parents. The device also has a built-in phone app to record these stats so that they can be shown to a medical professional. Now, parents can have peace of mind knowing their child is in safe hands with the LOOKEE® Smart KidsO2™ Sleep & Activity Oxygen Monitor.
Further Precautions to Take
It is known that children are more susceptible to viral and allergic triggers than adults. An essential step in controlling your child's asthma is identifying the triggers and teaching your child how to recognize their asthma triggers and avoid them. One possible trigger is ibuprofen, with over 100,000 children susceptible to asthma symptoms brought on by the drug.
Children tend to spend more time outside during the summer vacation. If pollen or high ozone levels trigger your child's asthma, you need to monitor these. Physical exercise is a common trigger of childhood asthma. Teach your child to take medication when necessary and do warm-up exercises before strenuous activity and cool-down exercises after.
Pet hair can also trigger asthma symptoms. If you notice that your child reacts badly to cats and dogs, having them as house pets wouldn't be advisable. Parents who are smokers can become major health risks as secondhand smoke can also cause symptoms to flare up. They should make a valid effort to smoke outside the house, or better yet, not smoke around their child.
If your child is diagnosed with asthma, you must inform the school they attend. Every school should have access to asthma medication, and some allow children to carry and self-administer their asthma medication in emergency situations. If your child is going away to camp during vacation, make sure those in charge are aware of your child's asthma management and action plans.