Mom hugging daughter

The scariest moment has passed…

Every asthma attack is scary and your child might be traumatized by the sudden flare-up. It is important to comfort your child and calm them down. Studies have shown that children who are emotionally upset or distressed have a higher probability of experiencing another asthma flare-up.

Here are some ways to reassure and comfort your child in his/her time of need:

  1. Recovery Time
  2. Stay Calm and Soldier On
  3. Breathing Exercises
  4. Walkthrough Your Child’s Asthma Action Plan

1. Recovery Time

Every child is different. It is highly likely that your child will feel extremely tired after a few days of having an asthma attack. Let your child rest as much as they need – do not force them to go back to school before they feel ready.

You can speak to your doctor about the best time for your child to return to school after an asthma attack. You will also need to inform the school about this too.

It is normal for the family to feel emotionally drained after your child has experienced an asthma flare-up. Take time out and focus on the present and the future.

Focus on comforting your child who may be very startled after the attack. Take steps to reassure them that you will be doing things to lower the chances of the incident happening again.

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2. Stay Calm and Soldier On

As parents, you will have to stay calm no matter the situation. Children usually look towards you for reassurance. Keep your voice and tone steady and calm. Children are usually quick to pick up on any anxiety.

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3. Breathing Exercises

Try breathing exercises to help your child relax after an asthma attack. Check out our top 4 breathing exercises for kids for some ideas. Breathing exercises help our children stay calm. Try putting a trusty soft toy or their favourite pillow beside them for extra comfort.

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4. Walkthrough Your Child’s Asthma Action Plan

When your child has calmed down after an asthma attack, take some time to talk to your child about the incident. Find out how they feel and listen to their thoughts and feelings. End off the talk by explaining what both of you will do together to lower the chances of the asthma attack happening again.

If your child has a written asthma action plan, you will need to update your child on the instructions for the type of medication she has to take and when it needs to be taken. Alternatively, book an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible to discuss your child’s asthma action plan.

Update your child on the next steps to take when their symptoms start showing or worsens. Remember to photocopy your child’s action plan and pass it to family caregivers, school teachers, or babysitters if needed.

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References

  1. “Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event.” Child Mind Institute, 23 June 2020, childmind.org/guide/helping-children-cope-traumatic-event/.
  2. Tiana James Beard.“4 Ways to Comfort Your Child Without Words.” Parents, www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/ways-to-comfort-your-child-without-words/.
  3. “Children’s Asthma Attack Recovery Plan.” Asthma UK, www.asthma.org.uk/advice/child/manage/recovery/.