Pediatric Asthma Doctor Questions and Answers
What is Pediatric Asthma?
During childhood, asthma can become prevalent in many young children. The lungs and airways become easily inflamed when they are exposed to certain triggers, like inhaling pollen or catching a cold or another respiratory infection.
Pediatric asthma is not a different disease from asthma in adults; however, children tend to face more unique challenges with pediatric asthma. Unfortunately, pediatric asthma cannot be cured, and the symptoms related to pediatric asthma can continue into adulthood. With the correct treatment, you and your child can keep the symptoms from pediatric asthma under control and prevent damage to growing lungs.
How do I know my child has asthma?
Your child may show the following symptoms if they have pediatric asthma which is:
- Frequent coughing that can worsen when your child has a viral infection, occurs while your child is asleep or is triggered by exercise or cold air
- Whistling or wheezing sound when the child is breathing out
- Shortness of breath
- Chest congestion or tightness in the chest
Pediatric asthma might also cause:
- Issues sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- Bouts of wheezing or coughing that can get worse with a cold or flu
- Delayed recovery due to respiratory infections or bronchitis
- Issues breathing that can hamper play or exercise
- Tiredness due to poor sleep
While these asthma signs and symptoms can vary depending on each individual child, and might get worse or better over time. It can be difficult to tell whether your child’s symptoms are caused by pediatric asthma. Periodic or long-lasting coughing or wheezing and other asthma-like symptoms can be caused by infectious bronchitis or another respiratory infection.
Why should I see a pediatrician for management and treatment of childhood asthma?
Our pediatricians are available to help manage your child’s pediatric asthma. We understand managing your child’s asthma can seem like an overwhelming responsibility, but our pediatricians can offer easier solutions for the family to help with the child’s asthma. Follow these steps to help make it easier for your child with their pediatric asthma:
- Learn about asthma
Being able to help the child with their asthma, is starting by learning exactly what steps to take on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. It is important that you understand the purpose of each part of the tracking process and adjustment treatment. Everyone involved with the child’s health plan needs to:
- Understand the different types of medications for pediatric asthma and how they work
- Learn to recognize and record signs and symptoms of pediatric asthma
- Know what to do if your child’s asthma becomes worse
- Track the child’s symptoms
A written asthma action plan will be important for your child and your doctor as it will show how well the treatment is actually working for them. With your pediatrician, write the steps needed to manage your child’s asthma. With this plan do the following:
- Track how often your child has flare-ups from their asthma
- Judge how well the medication side effects, like shaking, irritability or trouble sleeping
- Check your child’s lungs with a peak flow meter
- Measure how much your child’s symptoms affect daily activities such as play, sports and sleep
- Recognize when to seek out your pediatrician again or emergency care depending on the child’s asthma symptoms and if they worsen
- Control any asthma triggers
Taking the proper steps to help your child avoid any triggers that can flare up their pediatric asthma can help you and your child to avoid them in the future
- Stick to the plan
Following and updating your child’s pediatric asthma treatment plan with your pediatrician can help you better manage your child’s asthma
How does a doctor test a child for asthma?
For children that are five years old and older, our pediatricians can diagnose and monitor your child’s asthma with the same tests they use for adults, such as spirometry and peak flow meters. Our pediatricians measure how much air your child can quickly force out of his or her lungs, as an indication of how well the lungs are working.
If your child’s pediatric asthma is more severe than expected, your pediatrician may refer your child to see an asthma specialist for their pediatric asthma.
We serve patients from Evergreen Park IL, Mokena IL, Oak Lawn IL, Chicago Ridge IL, Hickory Hills IL, Bridgeview IL and Bedford Park IL.