Prevention and control of childhood asthma | Updated: 2023-03-10
What is asthma?
Bronchial asthma is a heterogeneous disease characterized by chronic airway inflammation. The main clinical manifestations are frequent wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, which usually occur at night and/or in the early morning. In the past 20 years,the prevalence of childhood asthma in China has shown a significant upward trend.
The etiology of asthma is complex.Its symptoms vary from people to people, and sometimes only one clinical symptom is prominent, which makes it difficult to tell if the symptoms are caused by asthma.
Typical asthma can be confirmed by a bronchodilation test with variable airflow restriction. Compared with adults, it is difficult for children to complete a routine lung function test, a bronchodilation test and a bronchial provocation test, and it is difficult to obtain evidence of airflow restriction, which in turn makes it difficult to confirm the diagnosis of asthma.

What are the causes of childhood asthma?
Asthma is caused by a mix of hereditary and environmental factors. Most asthmatic patients suffer from allergic asthma.
The environmental factors that cause asthma include allergens, namely various specific and nonspecific inhalants such as dust mites, pollen and animal dander; chemical substances such as sulfur dioxide, ammonia gas and paint; food such as fish, shrimps, crabs, eggs and milk; medicine such as aspirin; and environmental pollution such as smog and haze.

Stages of childhood asthma
An asthma sufferer may experience the acute attack stage, the chronic duration stage and the clinical remission stage. 
The acute attack of asthma refers to the sudden occurrence of wheezing, shortness of breath, and cough, which may happen within hours or days, or even endanger life within minutes in serious cases.
Therefore, parents should pay special attention to the identification and management of acute asthma attacks. When children develop the above asthma symptoms due to exposure to allergens, cold air, respiratory tract infection, exercise, irritating odor, air pollution, cigarette exposure and emotional changes, the possibility of acute asthma attack should be considered.
Mistakes in asthma management
Parents often have several misunderstandings in the management of childhood asthma:
Treat asthma as an intermittent disease, believe that asthma will gradually disappear in the process of growth, and treat the temporary disappearance of symptoms as recovery from asthma.
Fail to take measures to avoid triggers.
Ignore asthma symptoms and fail to identify cough and chest tightness as clinical manifestations of asthma.
Only choose to take relief medicine when the symptoms are serious.
Standardized management of asthma
Childhood asthma can be controlled by formulating long-term, sustained, standardized and individualized treatment plans. Childhood asthma management requires active involvement of family members.
Effective family management measures include:
Avoid the factors that induce acute asthma attacks, for example, no cigarette smoke in the room, keeping the house clean, and avoiding dust, dust mites and cold air exposure;
Ensure that children use asthma control medicines regularly and correctly; if necessary, instruct the child to use an inhaler before exercise;
Regularly self-monitor asthma condition, for example by keeping an asthma diary;
Adjust the medication following consultations with a doctor.