Every year, the change of seasons brings an extremely high number of calls regarding asthma. Asthma is a life-threatening illness that affects the airways and makes it extremely difficult to breathe. We take this especially seriously because there can be life-threatening consequences if your child goes untreated.
Please read below for more information on how to stay safe and prepared during this season and in the upcoming change of seasons as well.
1. Asthma is life-threatening. This means that your child can die from an asthma attack that is untreated or undertreated with medications. We ask that you take your child to the nearest ER or urgent care if they are having an active asthma attack. This is because there is a possibility that your child could stop breathing in a severe asthma attack and need resuscitation, continuous airflow, and other assistance which is only found in Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers.
2. There is no such thing as a person “growing out of asthma”. This means that if your child has been officially diagnosed with Asthma, they should always have a rescue inhaler on their person at all times. Bottom line: If you haven’t had an asthma attack in years, you can still have one.
3. A prior hospitalization, especially one involving the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit increases your child’s risk of a life-threatening outcome. If your child has been hospitalized for asthma in the past (meaning that they have had to stay overnight) or has been admitted to the PICU for asthma, please let the staff know so that we can follow your child routinely and make sure that their medications are working for them.
4. You do not have to tell your child to limit their physical activity to avoid an asthma attack. If your child is physically active and has asthma, there are medications to help them breathe so that they can continue being active.
5. Asthma is a condition that is diagnosed by a Pulmonologist. Period. If you have never been to a lung specialist, taken a Pulmonary Function Test or answered questions on an Asthma score questionnaire provided to you, then you have never officially been diagnosed with asthma . This is especially important because insurance companies will not cover asthma medication for patients who have never been officially diagnosed with asthma. We will gladly refer those who need to see a Pulmonologist to better assist them.
6. Insurance companies want doctor’s offices to follow up with asthmatic patients every three months. This is because of the high amount of patients with asthma who do not take their medication, have attacks, or patients who don’t let anyone know that their medication regimen is not working for them.
7. An asthma appointment is essential to helping your child stay on top of their asthma. In an asthma follow-up appointment we check for the following things:
Making sure that there have been no recent asthma attacks
Asking about triggers that may cause an attack
Reviewing current asthma medications, their effectiveness, discussing when to take them and possibly changing the medications to fit your child’s needs
Completing an Asthma Action Plan discussing our findings and having both the practitioner and the parent sign- off on the plan afterward.
Please schedule an asthma appointment with us so that we can help you and your child. Take care!