When is a Cough Not Just a Cough?
READ THIS BEFORE YOU REACH FOR THE COUGH MEDICINE.
It's natural for growing children to get coughs and chest congestion once in a while. But if your child has a cough which comes again and again, and treatment with cough syrups and antibiotics doesn't make any real difference, then the problem is not caused by pollution or 'low immunity' or an infection.
It maybe asthma. It's one of the most common childhood diseases, after all. Out of every 10 children in India, one child may have it - and that maybe your child.
Leading child specialists say that childhood asthma can be controlled easily and successfully, but it's important to clear your doubts before starting your child's treatment.
So here are answers to some questions that parents frequently ask.
How can this be asthma? my child has never had an asthma attack! is n't it just a bad cough?data-cke-saved-name=name=How can this be Asthma? My Child Has Never Had an Asthma Attack! Isn't it Just a Bad Cough?
Many people think that someone who has asthma is breathless all the time. That's not so. In children, the most common symptom of asthma is not breathlessness but a recurrent cough which keeps coming back. Many children who have asthma are fortunate that they have never suffered an asthma attack. But if asthma is not treated properly, there is a much greater chance of suffering an attack. That's why you should start your child's treatment at the earliest.
With the right kind of treatment, it is both easy and successful. Successful means that you should expect nothing less than a normal and active life for your child: he should be playing actively, sleeping peacefully without being woken up by coughing, attending school regularly, and there should be no restrictions on what he can eat.
So, of course, you want to know, what is the right treatment? It is to control asthma with the help of an inhaler. That's a pocket-sized device through which your child can inhale asthma medicine directly into his lungs, to stop the coughing and help him to breathe better.
You surely want your child to take the smallest amount of medicine which will be effective, and in the safest way. For this, an inhaler is better than tablets or syrups. Because the inhaler delivers a very small amount of medicine, and it is highly effective, since it goes straight to the lungs where it is needed. In a tablet or syrup, the amount of medicine is much larger - it could be 10 to 20 times more than in the inhaler! And because it travels all around the body to reach the lungs, it can cause more side effects.
An inhaler is actually a very logical way to give asthma medicine. Just like putting skin ointment directly on the skin, or eye drops in the eyes.
Inhalers have been around for over 30 years, and they have a solid record of safety and effectiveness with millions of patients worldwide. That's why, doctors confidently prescribe inhalers even for pregnant women and infant children.
Some children who have mild asthma do grow out of it. But we don't know exactly why, or exactly which child will do that. So even if your child has mild asthma, don't let it get worse. Start the right treatment as soon as possible, ensure that you follow the doctor's advice, and take your child for regular check-ups. So that he can enjoy a normal, active childhood.