Would you know what to do if your child was to have an asthma attack?
I ask this question because recently I’ve become more aware of people vaping/smoking around children. Its a well know fact that second hand smoke is bad for anyone but worse for children.
What may not be well known is the effects of what I’ve started to call third, fourth, five hand smoke. This is where a smoker may not be smoking at the time of interaction but the smell or chemicals my still be present on their clothing, on their breath or in the car/room they were smoking in.
Due to the law the chances of working or being effected by this directly in public is limited, but what about the parent who smokes on the way home? or has a drink with friends who smoke before coming home to the children?
Being exposed to smoke or vape can still effect children even if they were not there at the time you were exposed. I am not proposing that we all detach ourselves from smokers or vapers but a simple shower, change of clothes or planing may reduce the effects it may have on an asthmatic.
You’ve noticed that I am including vaping, simply because there are some flavours that are so strong, studies have even shown that the cheap brands can not clearly identify the ingredients in the oil, thus creating the same effects or if not worse to smoking.
Usually prevention is the best form of defence from an asthma attack, not only the inhalers but also what the parents can do.
Being shouted at as a child not only scared me, but would also give me a choking sensation, it would quickly pass but at the time I would feel like I am about to have an attack. Thankfully my upbringing was perfect and my parents gave me a great start in life.
Rushing me also effected me, it would feel like my heart would never stop racing. It could be as simple as being told to hurry up, I remember during a fire alarm drill in my primary school I cried because I was so sacred, not of the imitate false threat of a fire that did not exist; but of the very real fear that this great sense of urgency is pushing my heart into overdrive.
There are many examples that you will find yourself in, as a parent I am guilty of raising my voice to my child, I was recently asked why I always sound like I am shouting when interacting with my son. it made me think, and provoked me to writing this blog.
As a parent you will do everything to protect your child, but how much thought are you will to give to the way you make your child feel deep inside; especially if they have asthma?
So what would you do in an asthma attack situation? This is what I would do (please remember I have no medical qualifications)
- I would hold my child, the sense of safety is vital
- Get someone else to call 999,
- Get someone else to bring you the medication, give the medication correctly, you should know what they take and the correct technique and you should have checked that its all within their expiry date prior to being needed
- Breath with your child, slow the breathing down
- Put them in an upright position, not slumped over
- Place my hands on their shoulders, this will help keep eye contact and reduce their shoulders from raising
- Tell the child that everything is OK, in your normal voice do not look or sound concerned
- Stroking your child’s hair, my mother would always do this and if made everything feel better.
- Prepare your child for the trip to hospital, pack a change of clothes, out their shoes on
If you’re alone, if may be tricky to multi task, but your priority will be to stay with your child.
These are the types of things I would do if I had a child having an asthma attack, Asthma UK and the NHS have specific guidelines to follow.
I hope this has provoked you to think about your child and how life itself effects their asthma, remember you are their super hero and this blog has only identified a small area of an extremely large and in depth topic with several other factors.
I thank you for taking the time to read this, if you wish to interact directly with me and many other people The Weekly Wheeze now has a facebook group, feel free to join there are some really helpful files, not to mention the hundreds of other people in the group that are willing to share their experiences.
Take a breathe,