Watching a child have an asthma attack is one of the scariest and worst things you can witness, especially when you have no clue on what to do or how to help the child. One of the first symptoms of an asthma attack is always their struggle to breathe, then perhaps some coughing, belly ache and wheezing. If nothing is done immediately then the symptoms will steadily get worse.
At this point, panicking is the worst thing you can do as the adult, because the child is already scared and, in some discomfort, what he/she needs is a calm and InControl person to comfort and reassure them that everything will be fine and to help them calm down and gain back control of their breathing if possible.
So, here are some steps to take to help you help a child during an asthma attack.
The first and best thing to do is a take a few seconds to calm yourself down and not panic, because your panicking will only make things worse for the child.
Then get the child to take a puff from their reliever inhaler, the advised dose is to take a puff once every 30 seconds to 60 seconds for a total of 10 puffs, having an asthma spacer (a device used to the ease of administering aerosolized medication from a metered-dose inhaler), helps you determine the correct usage.
If after 6 to 7 puffs the child is still feeling breathless and in discomfort, call an ambulance immediately to be on the safe side so that the child can receive medical attention, it’s better to say sorry to the ambulance staff if after getting to 10 puffs before they get there, the child is all better. Than to regret calling only after getting to 10 puffs and have them arrive late with traffic excuses and your child paying the price.
Of cause if for any reason you don’t have the inhaler with you or if the inhaler is empty, then there is no time to waste at all, get on the phone as soon as possible to call an ambulance for help, you can take into account your location and distance to the nearest clinic or hospital too, if you believe you can get your child there much faster than waiting around for an ambulance, then hurry up and go. While staying calm and doing your best to comfort the child in your care.
What to do after the symptoms of the asthma attack as improved.
After you have been successful in helping your child or a child in your care regain his or her breathing, it is still very important to make an appointment with the child’s paediatrician or inform the parent of the child in your care to make the appointment for a follow up check up within 24 hours of the initial asthma attack.
This follow up will allow the paediatrician to do a full check up to determine what triggered the asthma attack in the first place and to figure out if the child needs a higher dosage or if the medication needs to change completely, and to advise you on what you need to do to help prevent or reduce any future asthma attacks triggered by what ever triggered it this time around.
I wish your child good luck and good health.