Asthma is the most common of all chronic diseases affecting children today. The amount of pediatric asthma cases is on the rise, as well. Factors like diet, exposure to bacteria, air quality, and many other things can play a role, which means that any child could potentially develop asthma.
During an asthma attack, the breathing tubes become very swollen and produce extra mucus. This makes it very hard to get a full breath, making the child gasp for air. Chest pain and lightheadedness can be common during an asthma attack, as well. Some children say they feel like a fish out of water, gasping in the same way, when having an asthma attack. When a child is in the throes of an asthma attack, they may panic because of the inability to breathe freely, which can make symptoms even worse. Parents should remain calm during an asthma attack because it helps the child remain calm as well.
Children may be susceptible to a number of different asthma triggers. These can include pet dander, cigarette smoke, pollen, mold, chemicals in cleaning products, dust mites, extreme temperatures, and viruses. If the asthma isn't controlled with preventive medications, children may also suffer asthma attacks after heavy exercise or when overexcited. In children who have food allergies, asthma attacks may also be tied to the food they're allergic to.
Asthma treatment can be twofold. First, young patients need "rescue" medications that relax the muscles wrapped around the airways during an asthma attack. These medications are taken only as needed when the asthma attack begins. Prevention is key when it comes to asthma attacks in children. There are some very effective preventive medications, generally taken on a daily basis, that can help control the airway inflammation for the long term. By having both rescue medications and preventive medications, the number of attacks is greatly reduced and any attacks that do occur can be alleviated rapidly.