You suspected something was wrong. You looked at the 10 Signs you May Have Asthma and made an appointment with the doctor for your child. Now, you just left the doctor’s office knowing for sure why your young son has been coughing and wheezing all this time. It is not an infection. It is asthma. Now you must explain asthma to your child.
- what it is,
- what causes it,
- what are your child’s triggers,
- what to avoid
- and how to treat it.
Your world just got a bit more complicated.
What do you need to cover when you explain asthma to your child? Explain asthma to your 8-year-old son in terms he can understand. Explain that he now has to take medicine, and use inhalers and peak flow meters. Let him know these are helpers to keep him healthy. Assure him that he will get comfortable with a mask put over his mouth for breathing treatments. Hard stuff for an adult to deal with much less an 8-year-old.
This is how some of our customers have handled explaining asthma to a child.
Be honest. Let them know that asthma is serious but with some work, they will be able to still have lots of fun. There will just be some new rules to follow. When they ask what asthma is keep it simple. “Asthma makes it hard for you to breath sometimes” The best example if you have to explain asthma to a child is an experience from their own life. Remind them of a time they had difficulty breathing. Get into more detail when they can understand it.
Teach them their triggers and asthma symptoms. Let them know they will need to be more careful and pay attention to their surroundings. Your child needs to understand the signs of an asthma attack and what to do if they have a hard time breathing. “Find mom or dad, your teacher or another adult if you don’t feel good”.
Keep them involved. Make a game out of filling out the peak flow meter charts. If one of their triggers is pollen, teach them what pollen is and where it comes from. If weather changes trigger your child’s asthma, watch the Weather Channel and learn about cold fronts. Great time to teach them about keeping a daily journal.
Asthma is a lifelong condition but it does not necessarily mean they can’t do the things they like to. They and you just need to be careful.
Wishing you the best of health