As the parent of a child with asthma, you know how helpless you feel when your child is suffering from an asthma attack. You are not alone, more than 10 percent of children have asthma. If you panic and you’re not sure when to take your child to the hospital for asthma, then this information will guide you on how to cope with your child’s illness.
When is Asthma an Emergency?
Asthma is a recurring illness that will come back time and time again, but there are telltale signs that signal when it’s time to go to the emergency room. They are the following:
- Your child is having a very difficult time breathing: he or she cannot speak and is gasping for air
- Coughing or wheezing that has not subsided
- Your child has not improved after using a quick-relief inhaler
- If you see there is pulling below the ribs, between the ribs, and in the neck when your child inhales
- If your child’s peak flow falls below 50% (the red zone) and doesn’t increase after treating with quick relief medicines
- If your child presents symptoms of lacking oxygen such as blue or gray lips and fingernails
Triggers for Asthma
Asthma will return but you can do many things to prevent it from recurring as often by avoiding the following:
- Tobacco smoke
- Car exhaust
- Dander from animals
- Dust bunnies
- Colds/Respiratory infections
It can be hard to completely avoid these things, but doing so as much as possible will give your child a higher quality of life with fewer asthma flares. Clean your home thoroughly to eliminate pollen, dust, and pet dander. You can use hand vacuums to remove any of these particles from people who enter your home every time they come back inside. You can also request for guest to leave their shoes in a designated area when entering your home to avoid the spread of these asthma triggers.
How to Manage Your Child’s Asthma
Educate yourself about asthma: The more you know, the more confident you will feel when treating your child’s asthma. Get an understanding of what the medicines do to help your child breathe and how to administer them properly. This goes for every caretaker that spends significant time with your child such as baby sitter, coaches, and teachers.
Have a written asthma action plan: Having a child asthma plan will take the guesswork out of your treatment plan, something you don’t want at all when dealing with your child’s illness. When taking notes, pay attention to what’s working. Have your child’s symptoms been improving? If not, what symptoms are unchanged or worsening?
Don’t let asthma consume your child’s life: It’s important to be proactive when it comes to your child’s asthma, but don’t let the illness interfere with your child enjoying his or her childhood. There can be a lot of restrictions when it comes to raising a child with asthma, but it’s important to allow them to have fun and a sense of normalcy.
How to Avoid Asthma Flare-Ups
- Always have your child’s medicines available when you’re away from the house.
- Administer medicine as soon as symptoms start presenting themselves, the sooner, the better. This keeps the flare-ups from turning into a full asthma attack.
- Never give your child more than the required dosage without consulting with your child’s doctor.
- Get your child in the habit of drinking more fluids to stay hydrated. Water will loosen any phlegm that causes discomfort in the lungs.
- Use a humidifier in the house to combat dry air that can cause coughing to worsen.
- Reduce the amount of time your child plays sports whenever he or she experiences an attack.
When to Take Your Child to the Hospital for Asthma
- Wheezing has been present for more than 24 hours
- Quick-relief medicine/ an inhaler has been used more often than every 4 hours
- Your child is experiencing breathing problems
- You are worried about your child’s well being
- Your child’s health worsens
When You Need to Stop by an ER
Stop at any of our 3 locations if your child is having an asthma attack. It is our sole duty to aid you in high-risk situations. Our River Oaks emergency room, Katy emergency room, and Clear Creek emergency room are ready to assist you at a moment’s notice. At Village Emergency Centers, we strive to provide you and your loved ones quality medical emergency care.
Our emergency centers are conveniently open 24/7 and accept walk-ins because we know emergencies are not events that can be planned. Get directions here to visit one of our locations.