Pediatric asthma affects large number of urban school-going children - India

Dr Pradeep Sharma
It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for the development of asthma in children. However, there are several triggers such as dust, air pollution, and exposure to secondhand smoke. Pediatric asthma is one of the major reasons for absenteeism from school, explains Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI. Symptoms: Wheezing (whistling sound) when breathing Coughing Rapid breathing Complaints of chest hurting Feeling tiresome Lack of energy He added, “Diagnosing asthma in children can be difficult and time-consuming. This is because of the pattern of symptoms. It is possible to prevent flare ups by making changes to the child’s diet as also avoiding exposure to environmental pollutants as far as possible. The goals of asthma therapy are to prevent children from having chronic and troublesome symptoms and reduce the need for emergency hospitalization.” Follow these tips: Prevent exposure to dust mites. These are tiny insects and one of the most common asthma triggers. They tend to live in beds, carpeting, upholstered furniture and soft toys. So, it is important to keep all these things dust free. Restrict the child’s contact with pets especially if he/she is allergic. Maintain a healthy weight and encourage good eating habits. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet. Avoid exposure to smoke. Expectant mothers should quit smoking altogether as this is one of the major risk factors for development of asthma in children. Breastfeed your infant. This will increase immunity and help ward off potential complications.

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