Asthma attacks can occur often or rarely. Is your child having an asthma attack? Would you know what to do if s(he) was?
Even though most asthma attacks are mild, they can be fatal. While there is a higher prevalence of asthma in children these days, fortunately most of them will grow out of it. Till then, if it does, its a serious condition that your doctor would have given you a plan to follow. Most times the core of these plans is having and knowing how to properly use a Ventolin inhaler.
This inhaler must be with the child at all times because its the core of the first aid process to help the child if s(he) has an asthma attack.
How do you know your child is having an asthma attack?
You will know because it’s usually a breathing problem but sometimes the child coughs.
Classic signs include wheezy noisy breathing, coughing, fast breathing, and talking in short sentences. During more severe attacks, there is no noisy breathing, the child can’t talk while the lips and skin may turn blue. In the worst cases, the wheezing may disappear entirely.
The inability to breathe can cause panic and this might make the attack worse. Therefore, the first thing is for you as the parent or caregiver to remain calm. If you are calm, your child will find it easier to calm down too and this will make the first aid work faster.
First aid for asthma attack
Remember 4 x 4 x 4
The first thing to do is to ensure your child is sitting upright and slightly leaning forward. If it’s a young child, place them on your lap and support them with one hand behind their back, reasssuring them. Once you’ve done this, you can use the 4 x 4 x 4 method:
- Give four puffs on the inhaler
- Wait four minutes
- Repeat steps 1 and 2
- Carry this cycle through 4 times. Then, if the attack is still continuing, take child to the hospital.
Continue to administer four puffs on the inhaler followed by four minutes of rest while on the way to the hospital.
Take a First Aid Class today to ensure you know what to do to keep your child safe, prevent harm or help him if an accident occurs.
Dr. Oluwatosin Osikoya is the Founder of Levande Healthcare Company. She facilitates First Aid Classes to enable Parents, Carers of Children, Schools and Businesses get the knowledge, skills and tools to handle any medical emergency.