with Running head: CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA
Children with Asthma
Community College of Baltimore Country
Children with Asthma
According to the center for Disease control and preventing (CDC). Approximately 6.8 million children have been diagnosed with asthma. Asthma is one of the most common, serious, chronic diseases among children, accounting for 13 million absences from school each year. It is the most common chronic childhood illness. Asthma is a recurring inflammatory lung condition. The airways of the lungs are hypersensitive to irritants such as cigarette smoke, weather conditions and allergens. When these irritants are inhaled, the airways react by constricting, or narrowing. Although asthma can develop at any age, it most commonly begins in children. Some children develop asthma particularly in the first five years of life. Some children continue to have asthma into adult hood. In other children, asthma resolves. Asthma has become much more common in recent decades. Triggers of asthma
There are many potential triggers and most children respond to only a few, in some children cannot be identified. Common triggers, or modifiable risk factors, that tend to participate or aggravate asthma, outdoor allergens, and trees, shrubs, weeds, grasses, molds, pollens, air pollution, and spores; indoor allergens: dust or dust mites, and cockroach, irritants: tobacco smoke, wood smoke, odors, sprays, chemicals; exercise, cold air, changes in the weather and temperature. Also environmental change: moving to new home and school, colds and infection, cats, dogs, rodents, and horses. Medication such as aspirin, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), antibiotics, beta- blockers are also triggers. Last but not lest Foods, nuts, and milk and dairy products. These triggers all result in a similar response. Certain cells in the airway release chemical substances. These substances causes, the airways to become inflamed and swollen, and stimulate the muscle cells in the walls of the airways to contract. Repeated stimulation by these chemical substances increases mucus production in the air ways, causes shedding of the cells lining the airways, and enlarges the muscles cells in the walls of the airways. Each of these responses contributes to a sudden narrowing of the airways (asthma attack). In most children, the airways return to normal between asthma attacks. Asthma symptoms
Although childhood symptoms are the same as adult symptoms they may not be as noticeable and easy to detect. Symptoms of asthma can be severe or mild. A child may have no symptoms, daily symptoms, severe or something in between. Wheezing is when the air flowing in the lungs makes a high pitched whistling sound. Mild wheezing occurs only at the end of a breath when the child is breathing out (expiration or exhalation). More severe wheezing is heard during the whole exhaled extreme attack, wheezing may be abstract because almost no air is passing through the airways. Asthma can occur without wheezing and be associated with other symptoms such as a cough, breathlessness, chest tightness. So wheezing is not necessary for diagnosis of asthma. Also wheezing can be associated with other lung disorders such as Cystic Fibrosis. Coughing may be the only symptom of asthma, especially in cases of exercise-induced asthma. Chest tightness, the child may feel like the chest is tight or won’t expand when breathing in, or there may be pain in the chest with or without other symptoms of asthma, especially in exercise-induced asthma. Symptoms can be different depending on whether the asthma episode is mild, moderate, or severe. Symptoms during a mild episode: the child maybe out of breath, after a physical activity such as walking. Symptoms during moderately severe episode: the child is out of breath with problems talking. The child may be sleepy and confused. Diagnosing Asthma
Asthma can be difficult to diagnose and...
References: Palmer, E. (2001), January / February).
Family caregiver experiences with asthma in school age children. Pediatric Nursing, 27
(1), 75-81. Retrieved March 17, 2003, from EBSCO database.
Encarta Encyclopedia World book 1998- Asthma
Pocket Guide for asthma management and prevention.
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