The worse thing than childhood asthma is asthma in toddlers. Most children who have asthma developed the disease while they were still toddlers. With a reported 5 million American children suffering from asthma, 173 thousand of them hospitalized for severe symptoms and 864 thousand receiving emergency treatment annually, it is important that your toddler be evaluated for asthma as early as possible.
Since it is more difficult to diagnose asthma among infants and toddlers, it would be best to look for signs or symptoms that characterize the disease. Many cases of asthma deaths were due to the parents’ failure to recognize the severity of the toddler’s condition. Common colds and respiratory diseases such as bronchitis can exhibit asthma-like symptoms. But this does not mean you should ignore your child especially when he has difficulty in breathing or a wheezing cough.
When your toddler is diagnosed with asthma, it does not mean he will be forever afflicted with the disease. On the contrary, there are lots of documented cases where the toddler’s asthma no longer persisted into adulthood. It can also be deduced from this observation that toddlers are more susceptible to asthma triggers but develops immunity as they grow older.
A toddler with asthma will have persistent cough that is hacking and congested. Sometimes the toddler may have wheezing cough and sometimes have none. In addition to this symptom, your toddler will display muscle retractions and flaring nostrils. He would also experience difficulty in breathing making feedings impossible. You will also observe your toddler rapidly breathing even while he sleeps. If you think, your toddler is breathing too rapidly, you should take him to the nearest hospital.
Another sign you should watch out for is your toddler’s lack of stamina and enthusiasm during playtime. This may be because he is associating physical activities with breathing difficulties and naturally gets discouraged to join other children. Having him checked by your pediatrician can determine if your toddler has asthma.
Asthma in toddlers may be more difficult to manage. The best way to do this is to enlist the help of your care provider or his teachers. You can prepare some detailed instructions so they would know what to do in case of an asthma episode. Your toddler’s pediatrician can help you prepare this set of instructions.
You should never take your toddler to a smoky place since cigarette smoke can easily trigger an asthma attack. Your pediatrician can test your child’s sensitivity to dust mite protein. Sometimes, parents overlook the fact that stuffed toys are hosts to these dust mites. During falls and spring seasons when levels of pollen are high, you should limit your toddler’s outdoor activities.
Emotional stress is also considered to be a trigger factor. Not only does it cause an asthma attack but it could also worsen asthma symptoms. Anxiety or panic attacks should be dealt with reasonable calm to help relax your child. The moment your toddler calms down you can administer treatment such as bronchodilator medication.
Keep your children safe and protect them from elements that can lead to long-term damage. These kinds of problems can haunt them through adulthood, so take caution when it comes to your young loved ones.