Having a child with asthma is challenging. It is even more challenging during this pandemic. Asthma and COVID-19 similarly inflame the respiratory tract. COVID can even cause an asthma attack or lead to more serious — even life-threatening — complications, like pneumonia or acute respiratory disease. Children with moderate or severe asthma are at higher risk for getting sicker due to the virus.
That’s why it’s important for parents to be especially careful to manage their child’s asthma during these difficult times. Since the virus and asthma present similarly, monitoring and controlling your child’s asthma as well as avoiding triggers is key to keeping them safe. Be sure to adhere to your child’s care plan.
Here are some tips for parents with asthmatic children:
- Get your child and all family members a flu shot.
- Identify what allergies and triggers impact your child’s asthma.
- Make sure your child is compliant with medications.
- Get medications regularly refilled so they’re always available; refill an inhaler as soon as you see it is getting low.
- In the event of an asthma attack, administer quick-relief medications as prescribed in your child’s asthma care plan.
- Keep routine appointments with your child’s physician.
- Send an inhaler if your child is attending in-classroom school.
- Your child should be wearing a mask whenever outside the home.
- Keep your child away from known triggers like pets, dust, mold and cigarette smoke.
- Step up your child’s handwashing; do it frequently and for an ample amount of time with antibacterial soap.
- Limit your child’s exposure to others; stay away from crowds.
- Keep an asthmatic child away from anyone who is ill, even in your own household.
So how do you as a parent know if your child’s asthma is well controlled? Talk with your child’s physician and ask for his or her individualized plan. Some general signs can be:
- No breathing issues when participating in routine activities
- Infrequent coughing — no more than two days a week
- Waking up from coughing no more than once a month
- Need two (or fewer) rescue treatments a week
Since difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath can be symptoms of both COVID and asthma, telling the difference may be difficult. Seek immediate or emergency care for your child if they are experiencing:
- Respiratory distress or fast or labored breathing
- Chest pain
- Bluish tint to skin, nails
- Trouble talking or walking
Parents should not fear seeking help from medical professionals for your child during the pandemic. Health care providers, like Advocate Children’s Hospital, have enhanced safety measures to keep patients and families safe. Advocate Children’s Hospital’s Safe Care Promise reflects their commitment to virtual check-ins, screenings, masking, social distancing and enhanced cleaning.
As the only pediatric immediate care on the North Shore, the team at the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance Pediatric Immediate Care in Wilmette is standing by to treat your child’s urgent health care needs. A pediatrician is always on staff during routine hours — as well as extended evening and weekend hours — to deliver exceptional care close to home. Schedule an appointment online now at locations.advocatehealth.com.