Spring and summer bring more pollen particles, more humidity, and also changes in air quality, which can trigger or worsen asthma in children.
Myths about asthma in children
Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in children, however, there are still many myths and false beliefs about it. Read on to find out more about these myths.
1. Asthma in children is psychological
Stress can make asthma worse, but asthma is not a psychological or mental condition. Asthma is a chronic physical disease with several possible triggers and changes that take place within the body.
A child's airways can get tight when the body overreacts to things like allergens or other triggers. This can make it hard for them to breathe.
Some psychological conditions can cause symptoms similar to asthma. For example, a panic attack can cause shortness of breath or a sudden inability to breathe. These symptoms generally do not respond well to asthma treatment, as they do not have the same underlying physical cause.
2. Children with asthma cannot play sports or exercise
While exercise and physical activity were once thought to make asthma worse, experts recommend that children with asthma be physically active. Regular exercise has many health benefits. Talk to your child's doctor about the types of exercise that are right for him.
Activities such as walking, jogging, and swimming are often recommended, as are team sports that require short bursts of energy. Sports such as skiing and ice hockey should also be avoided, as cold air can make asthma symptoms worse.
3. Asthma medications can be addictive
Many people think that asthma medications are addictive because they contain steroids. However, the steroids in asthma inhalers work very differently from the steroids that bodybuilders take to build muscle, and they are not addictive.
People with asthma often use their medications every day to prevent asthma symptoms, not because they have developed an addiction. Your child's doctor can give you medical advice and explain how asthma medications work.
4. Asthma medications are less effective over time.
Different medicines for asthma in children work in different ways. If your child has an asthma attack, that does not mean that his daily medication has stopped working. It could mean that the air quality is worse that day or that your child has been exposed to a new environmental trigger.
However, if you notice that your child frequently needs his "rescue" medication, talk to a pediatrician about ways to better control your child's asthma. Whenever you change your child's medication, be sure to update your asthma action plan as well.
5. Children with asthma only need medicine when they feel sick.
Some children have mild asthma and only need medicine for the occasional flare-up. People with persistent asthma need to keep it under control on a daily basis. If your child's asthma action plan requires daily medication, be sure to include it in the family routine.
That supportive medicine will help your child stay healthy. It's important to treat even mild symptoms so they don't get worse.
6. Asthma in children eventually passes
Some children's asthma improves or seems to go away completely as they get older. Doctors don't fully understand why this happens, but they know that it doesn't always mean that asthma is gone forever. Sometimes children will appear to have "outgrown" their asthma, but symptoms return in adulthood.
So never assume that your child no longer needs asthma treatment. If your child's symptoms change or improve over time, talk to a doctor about changes to your child's asthma action plan.