It’s that time of year when asthma comes crawling from the cracks and crevices, the blowing dust and the floating pollen.
If you’re the parent of a child with asthma, you already know what autumn means in your household.
If you’re the parent of a child who continually has a stuffy nose, has a hard time breathing, and is always tired but you think that’s just the way things are for a kid that age, think again.
When fires hit the foothills and other nearby dry areas, those who know their kid is asthmatic are on the alert. Those who think what their kid is going through is just “a kind of condition that comes with the season” and will soon be outgrown, listen up.
A kid’s frequent cough may well be a sign of asthma. While the cough may go away, notice whether it keeps coming back. Depending on the child’s age they may not be able to say their chest is tight and hurting. But the mindful parent, with a coughing child who is frequently out of breath, needs to ask the child about where the discomfort is.
Asthmatic symptoms differ for every child, and because of our inability, as parents, to recognize the seriousness of something like frequent coughing or a mild case of breathing troubles, we put our children at risk.
I’d heard of asthma and I knew people who said they were asthmatic. However, I never thought to ask what it was or how they knew they had it.
Although I’d taken my toddler to the ER on many occasions, it wasn’t until a nurse casually mentioned to me that the baby’s trouble was asthma did I get the point that the coughing was connected to something major.
The symptoms were so, well, what every child might have. They weren’t even worth bringing up when attending all of the regular visits to the pediatrician.
While the pediatrician seemed, I thought, to be doing his job, he never detected a respiratory problem. And most certainly, though I believed I was doing my Mom job, I was not.
My toddler never outgrew this health issue and more than likely neither will anyone else’s.
Parents need to get smart and learn-up on asthma even when they don’t think that’s what their kid’s coughing, wheezing and tiredness is all about.
There may not be a nurse to pull everyone’s coattail on a visit to the ER.
There may be another pediatrician out there neglecting to provide the kind of examination that would alert the parents to this medical issue.
The American Lung Association provides everything parents need to know when it comes to understanding and helping their children live a good life, even though it is one that often has them wheezing and being short of breath.
Get smart, and visit the American Lung Association at: www.lung.org/
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