Asthma is one of the most common conditions among children that affects the lungs and causes episodes of breathing difficulties. It affects around 5% of the global population. If your child has asthma, the airways become inflamed, swollen, and irritated. The muscles around the airways tighten and makes it difficult to breathe in and out.
The airways of infants and toddlers are much smaller than older children and adults. They are so small that even smaller amounts of inflammation in the airways can block the airflow, making it difficult to breathe. To manage asthma in children effectively, parents should know many things such as the pattern of their child’s asthma, its causes, symptoms, and find out remedies accordingly.
Symptoms of Childhood Asthma
The Causes and symptoms of asthma vary from child to child. However, the most common childhood asthma symptoms include:
- Whistling sound while breathing
- Frequent coughing especially at night
- Chest congestion or tightness
Talk to a doctor if your child has some or all of these symptoms. You can also consult a doctor online. With the right treatment, a doctor can help settle all these symptoms of asthma. Early treatment will help in controlling the problems related to asthma and possibly prevent asthma attacks.
Causes of Asthma in Children
The common causes of asthma in children include:
- A family history of asthma or allergies
- Skin or food allergies
- Childhood obesity
- Frequent exposure to pollution and environmental toxins including cigarette smoke, dust, mist or pollens
- Viral infections like common cold
- Physical activity
Home Remedies for Asthma in Children
Here are some easy home remedies that could help in reducing asthma symptoms in children and controlling the frequency of asthma attacks.
This ancient spice is a well-known home remedy for childhood asthma. It helps in reducing the inflammation in the airways and inhibit air contraction.
Grate ginger and add it to boiling water. After a few minutes, strain the water. Add honey and drink this mixture. Make your child drink at least two to three cups of this herbal tea every day. You can also ask them to chew small pieces of ginger during the day.
This sweet, thick liquid made by the honeybees is one of the best natural remedies for breathing problems. It removes phlegm from the throat allowing your child to sleep better at night. The sweetness of honey triggers your child’s salivary glands and produces more saliva. This further helps in lubricating the airways, thereby easing cough. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, honey also helps to reduce the inflammation in the airways,
Make your child take two teaspoons of honey before going to bed. You can also mix one teaspoon of honey in water and ask your child to drink this slowly.
The curcumin component of turmeric is an add-on therapy to get rid of asthma in children. Turmeric helps to prevent the inflammation as well as reduce mucus secretion in the airways.
Add 1/4th teaspoon of turmeric into a glass of water and drink this mixture thrice a day.
The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic help in relieving lung congestion, thereby reducing the symptoms of asthma.
Boil ten to twelve cloves of garlic in half a cup of water or milk and drink it once a day.
5. Essential oils
Essential oils like eucalyptus oil and lavender oil act as the best remedies for asthma in children. Eucalyptus oil relieves congestion and a blocked nose. The chemical eucalyptol present in eucalyptus oil helps in breaking down the mucus.
Apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a towel and keep it beside your children when they sleep. Lavender oil helps in controlling the mucus production and also strengthens the immune system. Add five to six drops of lavender oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam for at least ten minutes.
These natural remedies are one of the best and easiest ways to cleanse the lungs. Apart from these, there are many yoga asanas for kids that help in getting rid of asthma problems. Teach your child to do Back bending postures such as Cow pose and Camel pose. They help in opening up the chest and stabilize breathing. These poses also remove mucus from the airways and are very easy to do.
Asthma Action Plan
The asthma action plan is nothing but a summary of your kid’s asthma management. Its main aim is to prevent flare-ups and emergency hospital visits. Following an asthma action plan might help your children to do everyday activities without having any asthma symptoms. Each plan should cover:
- The list of possible triggers
- List of medicines to take.
- Early symptoms of flare-ups
- When to get emergency help
Powerful Tips to Prevent Asthma in Children
- Encourage your child to be physically active. As long as the asthma is well control, this will help the lungs to work more efficiently.
- Overweight worsens asthma symptoms. Therefore, help your little one maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit your child’s exposure to allergens and irritants that trigger the symptoms of asthma.
- Don’t allow anyone to smoke around your child. Cigarette smoke is a common trigger of asthma attacks.
- Control acid reflux or severe heartburn as it worsens the asthma symptoms.
- Get rid of home pests such as dust mites and cockroaches. If the symptoms of asthma in your child is severe, make them stay away from pets such as cats, dogs, etc.
- Watch for ingredients in the packaged foods.
- Have an asthma action plan. Don’t alter the plan unless you discuss the changes with the concerned doctor.
Follow these tips and never hesitate to talk to a doctor whenever you feel necessary.