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Ask Dr. Sue - Children with Asthma

by Susan S. Aronson, MD
September/October 2001
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/ask-dr.-sue-children-with-asthma/5014118/

Between seven and ten percent of children have the condition known as asthma. Since so many children have asthma symptoms, child care staff must learn as much as they can about this chronic illness. Caregivers need to understand what asthma is and how to prevent asthma symptoms, recognize episodes early enough to provide appropriate management, and use a written asthma action plan for each child with asthma.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs - not just one episode of wheezing, but recurrent episodes. During an asthma episode, airways are inflamed, swollen, and often partially blocked by mucus. Most asthma episodes can be prevented, or at least controlled.

Many children with asthma have related conditions: allergies and eczema. This family of illnesses involves the immune system over-reacting instead of protecting. Common symptoms of asthma are: wheezing, coughing, rapid breathing, change in the child's level of activity, hunched-over posture, and pulling hard on the chest, neck, and stomach muscles to get air in, but especially to get air out of the chest.

You can simulate what happens in an asthma episode. Attach a balloon to a straw so the balloon can simulate a lung and the straw can simulate one of ...

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