Children suffer more from asthma than adults and this is all the more severe in winter. According to researchers, the sensitive respiratory organs of infants are affected with even a 3 degree drop in temperature. This gives rise to coughs, wheezing and breathlessness. These are the symptoms of asthma.
Asthma symptoms are mostly visible in the morning or at night after going to bed. It can be hereditary and also due to over sensitiveness of the lungs or trachea. The sensitiveness is more among children and infants than adults.
During winter when the other children play outdoors, roll on ground and eat whatever they want, children with asthma suffer from breathlessness if they do the same.
Asthma does not mean a child simply has to stay back at home. But certain foods and products which cause allergy have to be avoided.
- No one should smoke in the presence of children
- Rooms should be kept well-ventilated
- Synthetic carpets should be used in place of fibre carpets
- Fluffy bed-sheets, quilts or blankets should be avoided in bed
- Children should not be given fluffy toys.
- Children with asthma must not be given food that induces allergies
Asthma must be treated with proper medication and inhalers. Inhalers and nebulisers do not harm the children. Though many think that children become dependent on the regular use inhalers, it not harmful to the health. Rather, inhalers are safer than medicines.
Some children suffer every winter. The parents become anxious about their children’s growth and well-being. But these children can lead very normal lives with regular treatment and a proper lifestyle. Former US president Bill Clinton, football superstar David Beckham and novelist Charles Dickens were also the victims of asthma. They succeeded in life by controlling the disease. It should be remembered that asthma cannot be fully cured but can be controlled with proper treatment, medication and maintenance of a balanced lifestyle.
- Dr. Abu Sayeed is a child specialist. This piece appeared in the print version of Prothom Alo and has been re-written by Faria Islam