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Key things about Asthma and Children

Asthma and Children

Asthma is one of the most common non-communicable disease in childrenA 2013 studyshowed thatasthma in Jamaican children is very prevalent, with almost 1 in 5 of children aged 2 to 17 years having current wheezing, and 1 in 6 self-reporting doctor-diagnosed asthma.We went live on Instagram recently with Clinical Pharmacist, Dr Amanda Daley and Pharmacist, Tia Ferguson to give you valuable information on the condition. Here are a few key things to note as a parent or caregiver of a child with asthma:

1. Always have an asthma action plan. An action plan should include information such as triggers, medicine needed, the name and or location of the child’s doctor, an emergency contact. Your child can have an asthma attack at any time. Always be prepared.
2. Know when to go to the hospital. There are three “asthma zones”. The green zone means there are no symptoms and the child is doing well. If symptoms appear, is in the yellow zone. The appropriate attention include giving the appropriate medication or removing the trigger. Lastly, the red zone means there are severe symptoms and medical attention is needed right away.
3. The pumps are not the same. Most persons have a blue and a brown/orangepump and both serve a different purpose. The blue pump is to be used for immediate relief, while the brown/orange pump is used to manage the condition on a daily basis. Appropriate use of the pumps is key to the proper management of the condition.
4. Be aware of triggers specific to your child. There are several asthma triggers but they may not all affect your child. Pay close attention so you can determine if it’s smoke, heat, dust, pollen, pets, foods etc. that causes asthma flare-ups in your child and avoid them as best as possible.
5. No one is born with asthma. However, there are certain risk factors that can cause a child to be more prone to developing the condition. These risk factors include genetics. If a parent or family member has asthma, there is a greater chance that the child may develop the condition. The condition can also be prevented. Limit your child’s exposure to smoke, encourage physical activity, treat respiratory infections well, and avoid excess dust.

Click here to watch the replay and learn more about how to care for your child with asthma.

The National Health Fund covers asthma and gives double subsidy to children enrolled in the NHFCardProgrammeIn addition, if your child is a public patient, you can fill their prescription free at NHF-managed Drug Serv Pharmacies across the island including the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

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