Helping your child to keep asthma under control

Asthma is a lung condition that causes difficulty breathing, and its common among kids and teens. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Anyone can have asthma, even infants, and the tendency to develop the condition is often inherited.

The underlying causes of childhood asthma arent fully understood. Developing an overly sensitive immune system generally plays a role. Some factors thought to be involved include: inherited traits; some types of airway infections at a very young age; exposure to environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke or other air pollution.

Staying active and treating other conditions linked to asthma will help keep your childs asthma under control.

(1) Make treatment a regular part of life: If your child has to take daily medication, dont make a big deal out of it - it should be as routine as eating breakfast or brushing teeth.

(2) Make sure your child gets exercise: Dont let asthma sideline your child. Regular exercise reduces symptoms and is important for your childs overall health. With asthma under control, there should be no limit to your childs physical activity level.

(3) Help your child maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts your child at risk of other health problems.

(4) Keep heartburn under control: Acid reflux or severe heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) may worsen your childs asthma symptoms. He or she may need over-the-counter or prescription medications to control acid reflux.

You can also take steps to reduce your childs exposure to his or her asthma triggers which will lessen the possibility of asthma attacks. The following things may help:

(1) Maintain low humidity at home
(2) Keep indoor air clean
(3) Reduce pet dander...