The Asthma Corner

How Can I Help Monitor And Control My Child's Asthma?

Monitoring and controlling your child's asthma symptoms at home is essential. It's important to record symptoms and bronchodilator use on a calendar or chart. This will help you and your doctor assess the effectiveness of your child's treatment over time. Use of a peak flow meter by children over six years may also be helpful. This is a simple tube-like device that the child breathes into to measure how efficiently the airways are working. It's also very important for you and your child to have an action plan to carry out prevention strategies and make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

At home, and especially in the child's room, dust should be kept to an absolute minimum. If your child is allergic to a pet, it's probably best to remove it from the home. However, it's possible that the child may continue to react even weeks after the pet's removal.

Pollen, the microscopic particles produced by plants and trees, is another common allergen. So shut doors and windows when there's increased pollen in the air.

Physical exercise can be another asthma trigger. But if good asthma control is maintained, involvement in sports and other physical activities rarely needs to be limited. In fact, physical fitness, through physical activity, is among the best prevention strategies.

Most children with asthma are encouraged to participate in sports. But there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Some sports are more suitable than others. For instance, swimming is often considered an excellent activity for children with asthma. Consult your doctor for more information about which activities are best suited for your child.
  • Some children are encouraged to use a bronchodilator about 15 minutes before a physical activity begins. Consult your health professional before trying this strategy.
  • And, as always, taking the time to warm up and cool down helps the body better adjust to different activity levels.