One of the main goals of parents whose kids have asthma is avoiding trips to the emergency room (ER) for breathing problems. But it’s also important to know when going to the ER is the right choice.
You’ll be better prepared to make that decision if you discuss it with your doctor before your child has a severe flare-up. The doctor’s instructions should be included in your asthma action plan. The plan will list specific symptoms that are your cue to go to the ER. If old enough, your child also should know what these signs are.
Know the early signs of a flare-up
Everyone’s asthma is different. Some kids cough only at night, while others have flare-ups whenever they get a cold or exercise outside.
As you manage your child’s asthma, pay attention to what happens before a flare-up so that you know the early warning signs. These signs might not mean that a flare-up definitely will happen, but they can help you to plan ahead.
Early warning signs of a flare-up can include:
Communicate with your doctor. Be sure to call the doctor at the earliest sign of a flare-up or if you have any other concerns.
When to seek help
Sometimes your child must receive medical care very quickly. If any of the following symptoms happen, see your doctor immediately, go to the ER or call an ambulance:
Making ER trips less stressful
Planning can make trips to the ER less stressful for you and your child. Here are some tips to try:
Well-managed asthma is rarely life-threatening. If you and your child take asthma seriously and work to manage it, you can lessen the chances that your child will need to go to the ER.
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