It is a little known fact that childhood asthma is the most common chronic childhood condition today. Despite how common it is most parents do not know much about childhood asthma. The American Childhood Asthma Association estimates that 4.5 million children are afflicted with this disease. The disease has accounted for an estimated 425 deaths in 1999. The death rate has doubled in the past ten years alone. While asthma afflicts people in all age groups, children under the age of 5 are at greatest risk for the disease.
These numbers are alarming, but the good news is that pediatricians have banded together to treat this disease. The first step to defending your child against asthma is education.
What is childhood Asthma?
Childhood asthma is a chronic disease that occurs when the airways become inflamed, blocked, or narrowed. The period when these symptoms are present is called an asthma attack. While the symptoms are temporary, it causes severe shortness of breath and trouble breathing overall. If the asthma attack becomes severe, or lasts for a prolonged period of time, the child will be admitted to the emergency room. There, the child is given treatment designed to open the airways and decrease the inflammation in the lungs.
What triggers an asthma attack?
Cold dry air, exercise, pollen, dust mites, cockroach waste, second hand smoke, and animal dander are some of the allergens that can trigger an asthma attack. Children with chronic asthma may not be able to have pets, cannot exercise regularly, and need special air treatment to clean the air in their homes.
If you are concerned that your child may suffer asthma, it is important that you make an appointment with your pediatrician for an assessment. A pediatrician is trained to accurately pinpoint asthma and the degree to which your child may suffer from it. There are many treatments available to effectively treat the condition. Give your pediatrician a call today!