As a parent, you’re naturally going to worry about your child no matter how old they get, and that worry only increases if they are battling a health condition. As the parent of a teen, you may find it even more challenging to get them to listen to you and take their health seriously. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips on how to help child with asthma.
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How can I tell if my teenager has asthma?
Asthma’s symptoms can mimic those of pneumonia, bronchitis, allergies, or even a cold, so it’s not always clear. However, there are some telltale signs that it may be asthma. Wheezing and coughing (particularly at night) are the most common symptoms of an asthma attack, but other signs — tightness in the chest or shortness of breath — are also indications of asthma.
If your teen’s symptoms keep them from sleeping through the night or if they interfere with their normal activities, he or she could have asthma.
You should have a doctor examine your child to determine whether or not they have it, and if they do, how severely the disease affects their lungs.
Keep in mind that many teens with asthma also have allergies; if your teen suffers from hay fever or other allergic reactions, take any sign of asthma seriously.
Also, since colds and other respiratory infections often lead to attacks, you should suspect asthma if your teen keeps coughing long after an illness has faded.
What can I do to prevent attacks?
Try protecting your teenager from the allergies and irritants that commonly trigger attacks. No family members should ever smoke in the house, and urge your teen never to smoke; he or she should also avoid breathing secondhand smoke.
Vacuum your floors regularly, clear their room of major dust traps such as potted plants, rugs, and carpet, and get bedding made of non-allergenic materials. If your child is allergic to your pets, ask your allergist for advice.
Meanwhile, keep them outside or at least out of their room. (Washing your pet regularly is also effective.)
If your child suffers asthma attacks only in spring and fall, try limiting their exposure to pollen — the likely culprit in seasonal allergies — by keeping the windows closed and installing filters in your air conditioner.
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When he or she goes out in cold weather, remind them to