UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD’S ASTHMA IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HELPING THEM CONTROL THEIR ASTHMA1
Childhood asthma is the most-common chronic disease among children with more than 20% of Singaporean children being diagnosed by the age of 15 years.2,3 It can be difficult to know if your child has asthma as many children go symptom-free for a long time before having their first asthma attack.4
Children may not always show the same asthma symptoms as adults. If your child has one or more of these common symptoms, take them to see a doctor:4
Either constant, made worse by viral infections, when asleep, or triggered by exercise or cold air
When your child exhales
Shortness of breath
or rapid breathing
May be associated with exercise
Your child may say that their chest “hurts” or “feels funny”
Your child slows down or stops playing
Problems feeding or grunting during feeding
Avoiding sports or social activities
Due to coughing or difficulty breathing
HOW DO I EXPLAIN ASTHMA TO MY CHILD?
HOW DO I HELP MY CHILD CONTROL THEIR ASTHMA?
Know your child’s asthma triggers1,6
Be aware of your child’s warning signs of an asthma attack6
Make sure your child is using their asthma medication correctly1,6
Regularly check your child’s asthma control7,8
Prepare for an emergency – inform your child’s caregivers5
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Most children will outgrow childhood asthma, but the reason why is unclear.9,10
Children with severe childhood asthma (i.e., uncontrolled) tend to have asthma persisting until adulthood more than those who only had mild asthma (i.e., well controlled).9–11 That’s why it’s so important to regularly check if your child’s asthma is well controlled and to work with your doctor so that your child is on the right treatment.
Yes, childhood asthma can come back later in life.10,12
One study has shown that childhood asthma came back in 44% of those aged 16–18 years in the Asian population – the most-common age group for childhood asthma relapse.12
Your child should exercise as part of their daily activities when their asthma is controlled. Children with asthma can and do excel in athletics – in fact, many Olympic athletes have asthma.1
Share your child’s Asthma Action Plan with the school nurse, teachers or any coaches who look after your child at school. With your and your doctor’s approval, your child can take their inhalers with them to school.1,5
There are 4 simple steps you can take during an asthma attack:14
- Stay calm
- If your child has been given a reliever medication by your doctor, let your child use it for quick relief and repeat as advised by your doctor
- Keep your child comfortable by loosening clothing around their neck, get them to sit upright and let fresh air into the room
- Call your doctor or 995 immediately if your child has a severe asthma attack. Signs of a severe asthma attack include:
– Your child is unable to speak, struggles to breathe or gasps for air
– Your child experiences chest pain, palpitations and blue lips or fingertips
– Your child is not getting better with the reliever medication
- AAAAI. Childhood asthma, 2020. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/Tools-for-the-Public/Conditions-Library/Asthma/Childhood-Asthma-TTR. Accessed December 2022.
- WHO. Asthma, 2022. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma. Accessed December 2022.
- Tan C, et al. Singapore Med J. 2009;50(1):54–61.
- AAAAI. Childhood asthma, 2020. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/Tools-for-the-Public/Conditions-Library/Asthma/Childhood-Asthma. Accessed December 2022.
- AAAAI. Teaching your child about asthma, 2020. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/Tools-for-the-Public/Conditions-Library/Asthma/Teaching-Your-Child-About-Asthma. Accessed December 2022.
- CDC. Help your child gain control over asthma, 2004. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2013-08/documents/ll_asthma_brochure.pdf. Accessed December 2022.
- Majellano EC, et al. J Asthma Allergy. 2019;12:235–251.
- Bime C, et al. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2012;18(1):48–56.
- Trivedi M & Denton E. Front Pediatr. 2019;7:256.
- Papadopoulos NG, et al. Allergy. 2012;67(8):976–997.
- GINA. Global strategy for asthma management and prevention, 2022. Available at: https://ginasthma.org/gina-reports/. Accessed December 2022.
- Wu TJ, et al. Respir Res. 2014;15(1):135.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is asthma? 2022. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/asthma. Accessed December 2022.
- HealthHub. Asthma (common childhood illnesses), 2022. Available at: https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/695/common-childhood-illnesses-asthma. Accessed December 2022.
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NP-SG-ASU-WCNT-230004. May 2023.