Childhood Asthma Treatment

 

INTRODUCTION

Asthma is a very common condition worldwide, even among children. And it, like other allergic disorders, is on the increase. It is multifactorial, that is, has many causes. This article explores some childhood asthma triggers, and offers a childhood asthma treatment model that addresses the condition in a biopsychosocial approach.

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GENETICS

Childhood asthma is inheritable. There is a lot of evidence to this effect, including evidence collected from Twin Studies.

Nothing can be done to alter or influence the inheritability of asthma. But awareness of the fact is important, especially in the case of an initial diagnostic workup. Knowing that a child who presents with an unexplained respiratory illness has a family history of asthma or other allergy, helps in making an early diagnosis that enhances the chances of a favourable outcome.

AGE

Young children under the age of 2, usually have Food Allergy e.g. to milk, eggs, seafoods, wheat. But food allergies quickly diminish after the age of 2, to be replaced by allergy to inhaled irritants  or allergens (aero-allergens). In circumstances where Allergy Testing is not easily accessible, knowledge of this childhood asthma fact is important, because management of asthma and other allergies requires knowledge of the causative or provocative factor(s) and their avoidance.

Half of asthmatic children outgrow their asthma around the time of puberty. And of those who outgrow it, half of them have it recurring in adulthood.

ENVIRONMENT

In this article, the focus is on inhaled allergens, especially DUST and THE HOUSE DUST MITE.

The vast majority of asthmatic children over the age of 2, have allergy to a microscopic creature that lives in house dust, the House Dust Mite or HDM. This is more true of children living in coastal than inland areas. The HDM lves warm, moist places. It thrives on dead skin cells on bedding.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS

Any sources of stress (physical, mental or social) on an asthmatic child, have the potential to make management of the condition more difficult, either by causing more severe or more frequent symptoms, or by causing the patient to be demotivated and/or non-adherent to treatment.

SOCIAL FACTORS

These tie in with the psychological factors.

But also, poverty or family discordance make it difficult for the treating team that consists of Healthcare Workers, the Patient, and the Family, to institute the best or agreed management plan.

Children living in polluted areas or countries with a lot of industrial activity, or countries with weak legislation to control effluents from factories, generally have very pop lung function.

A HOLISTIC CHILDHOOD ASTHMA TREATMENT PLAN

This should address all of the above mentioned factors, and more.

Allergy Testing is the starting point of a good management plan. It will tell if a child is allergic to the HDM.

Measures should then be taken, to minimise exposure of the asthmatic child to dust (and consequently to the HDM). The child should vacate a room that is being swept. Or if they are the one sweeping, should cover the mouth and nose with a cloth, doek, etc.

Hypoallergenic bedding has been engineered so as to prevent dust and HDM collection. And even if HDM finds its way into e.g. hypoallergenic pillows, the design is such that the HDM does not survive.

(Please see above links for hypoallergenic bedding.)

A case study done by the writer of this article in 1995-96 showed that children with asthma, should not sleep on the bottom bunk of a double-bunk bed. These types of beds are commonly used by many families to conserve space. But where one of the children is asthmatic, these beds should be avoided, or the asthmatic child, especially if they suffer from HDM allergy, should sleep on the top bunk.

In terms of asthma medication, there should be an agreed Treatment Plan between the Parent and the Healthcare Professional. Written information should be provided.

Asthma inhalers are in two categories, the Relievers (blue or green cap) and the Preventers ( brown or red cap). This pharmacological treatments should always be readily available in case of an emergency. They should be kept clean, and should never be beyond their expiry date.

It is important to remember that children under the age of 8 are unable to use an asthma inhaler, and that they need to use it in conjunction with a SPACER DEVICE (above links).

Children should be spared from family feuds. Family should be sought as quickly as possible, to decrease high expressed emotion in the family. The school environment should also be a happy and healthy one for the child. Communication between parents and the stand-in parents at the school (Teachers) is vital.

ANY COMMENTS?

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12 Replies to “Childhood Asthma Treatment”

  1. Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. Asthma is a disease that cannot be taken for levity, hence the need to have an appropriate treatment is very necessary. My neighbours will definitely find this article most useful for their son. I will definitely make some recommendations and refer them to this article for more clarity 

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your input; much appreciated!

      Glad that the article is of value to you and your neighbours. Thanks in advance for sharing!

      Regards. 😊

  2. thanks for sharing such an informative article on childhood asthma treatment, asthma could be a deadly illness that if not properly look into could lead to the death of a child,in a nutshell other ways to treat asthma for a child who are as follows…
    Maintain low humidity at home. …
    Keep indoor air clean. …
    Reduce pet dander. …
    Use your air conditioner. …
    Keep dust to a minimum. …
    Clean regularly. …
    Reduce your child’s exposure to cold air..

    trust me these things will go a long way to keeping your kids safe from asthmatic attacks…

  3. Hi Teboho

    It’s very reassuring to know that while asthma is often hereditary, there are several things we can do to mitigate it as you highlight so well in this excellent article.

    There is so much we can do before resorting to medication, although the importance of medication should not be underestimated.

    Things like keeping our homes clean are within our control but sadly other things such as industrial pollution in the environment are not.

    I have 2 children and they are both, thankfully, in excellent health but I know people who will benefit greatly from reading this article and I will certainly let them know about it.

    1. Hello Richard,

      Thanks very much for your input. Congratulations on having asthma and hayfever free children!

      It took COVID-19 and the lockdowns it caused, to clear the industrial pollution over parts of Asia and Europe – how sad! And tens of thousands of lives were saved, with A&E visits reduced by millions!

      Warmest regards.

  4. Hello, Thank you so very much for your amazing ”Article on Childhood Asthma Treatment I have only heard about asthma and never had anyone around me suffering from that sickness. But here I have been able to learn how to treat asthma and its courses. The fact that childhood asthma is hereditary makes it really hard to eradicate, but with what I have learned here, I know how to help a patient with this childhood asthma.  Thanks

    1. Thanks very much for your input.

      Yes, asthma and similar diseases that have a hereditary component will be with us for a long time to come. So we must keep enlightening people about them.

  5. Hi Teboho

    I completely agree with your analyze, because the happier we are the more we are healthy and keep any kind of disease away.

    I have seen many parents panic because their kids got asthma, they all rush first to see a doctor for a prescription. But the doctors are not always of great help, because they mostly treat symptoms and not the reason for the sickness. Here all the advice you have provided will treat the source even of the disease and keep the child form developing it.

    So, thanks for sharing!

    1. You are most welcome. Thanks for your input!

      Healthcare Workers and parents need to be aware of many factors that could be causing the child to present to the health facility.

  6. Hi ! I was myself suffering from asthma when I was young. They discovered that when I was 6 years old. I was playing basketball during my childhood, and I needed to control my breath as much as possible while playing and competing. Later, I develop it even more due to my allergies. My parents removed all the carpet in the house, and change all the mattress and sofas that we had. My health condition was improving a lot. It is very important to take care of a child with asthma as it can be stressful not being able to breathe (I was one of them). Thank you for sharing.

    1. 😊😊 thanks for sharing your story Lauranne.

      Your parents did so well to change your environment, well done to them!!

      I am so happy for you, that you eventually outgrew the asthma.

      Warmest regards.

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