A comprehensive way to manage your child’s asthma condition includes both the physical and psychological component.
For a child with asthma, an emotional state of agitation may signal the body system to react in a manner that results in an attack. Whether it is a heated exchange with a sibling, startled reaction to a horror movie, or terrifying encounter with a school bully, getting agitated often has the child or parent scrambling for an inhaler. Strong emotions can affect the way your child breathes. Feelings of anger, excitement, or panic may lead to unstable and irregular breathing or heart rate patterns – which affect your child’s sensitive airways and cause asthma symptoms to flare-up.
While you can take measured steps (such as by eradicating allergens from your child’s environment) to control the list of asthma triggers, emotion is probably the hardest trigger to control. You may be wondering; how then, do I predict when and how my child’s emotional reactions will cause a risk?
Although there is no way you can avoid emotions, you can still reduce the risk of your child’s emotions affecting asthma symptoms, with a few things to bear in mind. Stay with us as we share some tips and guides to help you manage your child’s condition more confidently. Together, we will be able to protect and keep our children safe.
Encourage your child to engage in mindful breathing. Inhale gently through the nose and hold it in for a few seconds, before slowly exhaling. Keep the mind focused on the slow motion of deep breathing. The increased amount of oxygen that will enter the bloodstream will open up capillaries and has a calming effect on the body. This will not only help your child reduce stress, but also trains them to keep control of strong emotions under control.
What activities does your child love? Allocate enough time for your child to perform the activities they enjoy. It is important to discover hobbies and interests that can help your child to reduce stress amidst challenging periods.
Make sure emotional support is available
Be there when your child needs you the most. Whether your little one has exciting news to share, or stories to rant about, provide a listening ear and offer any support if needed. Communicate feelings openly with your child and let them know that you are there for them. Having an outlet to express their emotions will reduce any pent-up feelings that could possibly be detrimental to their psychological wellbeing.
Note down a list to help you be aware of what triggers your child’s asthma symptoms – are their symptoms particularly worse when they are stressed, excited, or angry? By discovering a pattern, you can stay on top of their symptoms and be more prepared for such situations. Have your child’s inhaler on standby all the time, especially during times when you know your child might feel emotional.
By identifying feelings and situations that are likely to trigger asthma flare-ups, you can take better control of your child’s asthma condition. Recognizing these warning signs will allow us to work together with our child to better control and manage their emotions effectively. Stay calm, and be strong as you already are!
1.“Deep Breathing Exercises for Kids.” Coping Skills for Kids, https://copingskillsforkids.com/deep-breathing-exercises-for-kids
2. “Emotions.” Asthma Uk, www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/emotions/.
3. Peck, Peggy. “New Research Explores Emotions and Childhood Asthma.” WebMD, 16 Mar. 2001, www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20010316/new-research-explores-emotions-childhood-asthma#1.
4. “The Anxiety of Asthma: Emotions Can Trigger Attack.” WebMD, 7 Apr. 2001, www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20010407/anxiety-of-asthma-emotions-can-trigger-attack#1.
5. “Strong Emotions, Stress and Depression Can Trigger Asthma.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, www.aafa.org/emotions-stress-depression.aspx.