Editor's Impact StatementComment on Today's Focus On Asthma by William Storms MD-Helpful hints for caring for children with asthma: explaining asthma to children and parents:
Clinical Impact, from MDLinx , 05/24/2012
For children who have asthma, having someone explain what it is can alleviate any fears they may have.
•Use pictures or objects that represent the lungs and the bronchi can be helpful to show how air enters and exits normally, as well as how that changes when the air flow is constricted.
•Discuss the medications that the child takes and how they work to help the child breathe easier.
•Emphasize how important it is to visit the doctor.
•Tell the child that the doctor needs to know all of the correct answers to whatever questions are asked to make sure that there is a proper plan for medicines to alleviate or prevent an asthma attack.
Childhood asthma is a serious matter. Since no two children with asthma are alike, an individualized comprehensive evaluation must be made for the patient.
The child and parent need to be shown how to properly administer any medication that is required. This is especially true of inhalers and the parent and child should demonstrate inhaler use to make sure it is being done properly. The importance of preventive medicine and patient education should not be underestimated; for instance, daily inhaled steroids are the mainstay of maintenance therapy for asthma, but there is a very low compliance rate. For the child with worsening asthma, the earlier the patient/parent act and treat the episode, the less severe the asthma attack and its consequences will be. P.S. – Children with asthma may need to take some asthma medications even when they are feeling well. Parents often need a good deal of explanation and encouragement to “buy in” to this , especially since these medicines may include steroids(inhaled).