Asthma is the leading reason children go to the ER
According to the CDC, about eight percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with a form of childhood asthma, making it one of the most common pediatric health concerns in the country. Childhood asthma is also the leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations among pediatric emergencies.
Does my child have asthma?
You may be concerned your child has asthma, but haven’t yet received a formal diagnosis from a pediatrician.
Common childhood asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Whistling or wheezing while exhaling
- Constant intermittent coughing
- Chest congestion
- Chest tightness or pain
- Short, shallow breaths
If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, they should be examined by their pediatrician for a diagnosis. Early treatment can help prevent asthma attacks.
Childhood asthma can't be cured, but with the careful management and the emergency plan, you can prevent damage to their growing lungs and unnecessary visits to the ER.
When to seek a pediatric-ready ER for asthma attacks
Asthma attacks are usually caused by external triggers like smoke, dust or other agitating particles in the air. Others causes of asthma attacks include viral or bacterial infections that affect the lungs. Whatever the cause, asthma attacks are serious conditions that need to be evaluated by a medical professional.
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, you already know certain triggers can cause horrible coughing fits and other disturbing symptoms. But do you know when a home treatment is not enough and a trip to the nearest ER is warranted?
Seek emergency care at the closest pediatric-ready ER if your child exhibits any of these symptoms:
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Panic or extreme anxiety
- Cold sweat
- Coughing that won’t stop
- Loss of color in the face
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Symptoms worsen even after using prescribed medication
If you are having a medical emergency, call 911.