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By Christine P. White, MD, FAAP
March 26, 2019
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: asthma  

Understand more about childhood asthma, its warning signs and treatment options.

Asthma is the leading chronic disorder in children, affecting about 6 million children under the age of 18. If you notice that your child has Asthmabeen having trouble catching their breath then you may be wondering whether or not they might have asthma. Let our Overland Park, KS, pediatricians answer all of your questions about childhood asthma,

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma in children?

The most common warning signs of childhood asthma include:

  • A persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Struggling to catch their breath
  • Wheezing when breathing
  • Coughing spells that are often worse at night or after exercise
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Feeling easily tired or weak

What can trigger an asthma attack?

There are many things that can trigger an attack such as:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Exercise
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Certain chemical and irritants
  • Changes in weather
  • Stress

It’s important to continuously monitor when your child’s symptoms appear to figure out what might be triggering their asthma.

When should I bring my child in for an evaluation?

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms above it’s best to play it safe and to see your child’s doctor right away. Early treatment is key to getting your child’s symptoms under control and to reduce the chances of serious asthma attacks and possible hospitalizations.

How is asthma treated?

Asthma can be controlled with the help of prescription medication. Our Overland Park, KS, children’s doctor will determine the right medication based on the frequency, type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Also, what trigger their symptoms may also determine the appropriate medication.

In most cases your child will be prescribed a long-acting inhaler that often contains a corticosteroid. A fast-acting inhaler will also be prescribed. The long-acting medication is used everyday to help control symptoms while a fast-acting inhaler is only used when symptoms flare-up to help prevent an attack. There are also certain lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce certain allergens in the home that could trigger an attack.

Will my child’s asthma go away?

While most children who are diagnosed with asthma will not grow out of it, it is possible that symptoms and flare-ups will decrease over time. Making sure your child is using their asthma medication properly is the best way to safeguard them from flare-ups and to reduce symptoms.

Do you suspect that your child may have asthma? If so, call Johnson County Pediatrics in Overland Park, KS, today for an immediate appointment.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
December 11, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: asthma  

Is your child coughing at night? Does she wheeze after her dance class? These symptoms and more could indicate your child has asthma. At Johnson County Pediatrics in Overland Park, KS your team of caring pediatricians diagnose, treats and helps parents and children manage this chronic respiratory condition. Your child can live well with asthma.Child Asthma

Symptoms of asthma in Overland Park

They are familiar to most of us:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath, particularly after exercise, laughing, crying or exposure to weather
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue

These symptoms happen when airways constrict due to autoimmune factors, the environment (the weather in particular), allergens (pet dander, cigarette smoke and other indoor and outdoor pollutants), aerobic exercise and more. While asthma also seems to run in families, physicians, parents and caregivers understand that stress appears to escalate the problem.

What can you do?

If you suspect your youngster has asthma or asthma-like symptoms, come to Johnson County Pediatrics where your child's doctor will examine her and note her symptoms. The doctor may order blood work, allergy tests and a chest X-ray. Spirometry is one of today's most common diagnostic tests for asthma, and it's simple and comfortable--measuring the amount of air forcibly expelled in a single breath.

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, expect a management plan which may include:

  • Rescue medications such as inhaled bronchodilators
  • Maintenance medications which manage inflammation (inhaled steroids)
  • An asthma action plan which helps you and your child track symptoms and take appropriate interventions as needed
  • Sublingual medications to suppress allergy symptoms

Asthma is categorized as intermittent and mild, moderate or severe persistent. Your child's symptoms and how well and how quickly they are relieved determine the extent of the diagnosis and long-term treatment strategies. Diligent trigger and symptom tracking are the best defenses against missed school days, prolonged illness and hospital ER visits. Your physician at Johnson County Pediatrics will partner with you and your child in controlling asthma for best possible lung function and a happy, full childhood.

Learn more

You and your child are not alone in managing asthma. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American states that a full 8.3 percent of American children deal with asthma, and research on this prevalent problem grows year by year. Call Johnson County Pediatrics for an asthma consultation with your pediatrician: (913) 384-5500.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
July 17, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: asthma  

Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:

  • Trouble or difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Coughing that often gets worse at night
  • Fatigue, especially with exercise or play

If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.

During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.

Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.

The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
June 28, 2018
Category: Child Care
Tags: asthma  

Seeing your child display the symptoms of asthma can be extremely distressing, especially if you feel helpless as to how to get them relief.asthma Seek help and support from a pediatrician who is familiar with treating this respiratory illness. Get asthma care at Johnson County Pediatrics in Overland Park, KS, and learn a few tips for how you can help your child manage this common condition.

Asthma Triggers in Children
Statistics show that cases of asthma in children may be increasing. It’s important to understand the causes of asthma, which include lifestyle and environmental factors:

  • Exposure to allergens or food allergies.
  • Working out during gym or playing sports, especially in a cold, dry environment.
  • A respiratory infection, like a cold or flu.
  • A reaction to certain medications.

Asthma Care Tips
Asthma symptoms can be difficult to control, but not impossible. steps can be taken to minimize them. These asthma care tips are key to ensuring that your child can live in relative comfort despite this condition.

  • Ensure that your child always has access to sufficient asthma medication, like an inhaler—especially if she or he plays sports at school. Also, inform school contacts of your child’s condition.
  • Consider Sublingual Immunotherapy, a treatment that may help reduce the body’s response to allergens.
  • Know your child’s asthma triggers, whether it is pollen, pet dander, dust, or chemical smells. Keep the air in your home as clean as possible using air filtering devices and keep windows closed.
  • Take your child to regular wellness checkups with your Overland Park pediatrician.

Managing Asthma
By staying informed you can help your child manage his or her case of asthma. Explore new treatment options with your pediatrician regularly that may help relieve symptoms. Talk to your child about the symptoms they have been experiencing each day and keep a journal if necessary. Developing an asthma management plan with your child and provider will help keep everyone on the same page.

Getting Asthma Care
A pediatrician at Johnson County Pediatrics in Overland Park, KS, can help you manage the symptoms of asthma that your child may be experiencing. Contact the office at (91) 384-5500 today to schedule a visit.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
December 15, 2017
Category: Child Care
Tags: asthma  

Child AsthmaA common condition seen in kids and teens, asthma is a lung condition that causes trouble breathing and shortness of breath. During an attack, the bronchial airways become inflamed and the muscles surrounding them constrict, making breathing difficult. Repeated attacks may cause permanent lung damage and in severe cases can be life-threatening. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 23 million Americans have the condition and more than one-quarter of them are children under the age of 18.

Asthma Causes

There are a variety of triggers that can lead to an asthma flare-up or make asthma worse. These vary for every person, but common triggers include:

  • Allergens, such as animal dander, pollens, mold and house dust mites
  • Environmental irritants, such as cigarettes, dry air, fragrances and air pollution
  • Infections, such as pneumonia, sinus infection and viral infections of the nose and throat
  • Exercise
  • Stress

Does my child have asthma?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma is the most common chronic medical problem in children. Asthma symptoms will vary in frequency and severity, and most children with asthma develop their first symptoms before the age of five.  Common signs include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in chest

If you think your child may have asthma, contact your pediatrician. They can help you identify the early signs of childhood asthma and provide support for prevention and treatment.

A child may be at a greater risk for having asthma if there is a family history of asthma or if the child has eczema or frequent bouts of chronic lower respiratory problems occurring before the first birthday.  Keeping your kids away from cigarette smoke in the home or car, removing pets from the house, paying attention to pollen and air quality forecasts and monitoring exercise are all ways to reduce asthma problems.  

The good news is that the majority of asthma cases are only mild, and when the condition is properly managed with medications and extra caution, severe asthma flare-ups can be prevented.  Work with your child’s pediatrician to learn more about the condition and ensure your child leads a healthy, normal, active life.