Imagine the terror. You try to suck in breath, but nothing is getting into your lungs. Your bronchial tubes have closed off access to your lungs. If you do not do something within just moments, you will lose consciousness. You could wind up with heart disease or brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. You could die. You are alone. You can’t call out for help because you have to have breath to have a voice. You fumble and finally bring your inhaler to your mouth. Two quick bursts of the medicine and you can immediately feel the bronchial tubes opening, letting breath and much-needed oxygen into your lungs. You are safe until the next time you encounter a trigger for your asthma.
Triggers are usually things that would not bother other people, but can take an asthmatic to the brink of death. A majority of asthma sufferers are children. Their parents live in fear that their child will not be able to get their inhaler in time. It’s important for them to be aware of all of the possible triggers to which their child is susceptible. Asthma triggers in children are as individual as children themselves. It’s a long arduous effort of hit and miss testing for doctors to learn what triggers will send each child into an asthma attack.
Some of the most common asthma triggers in children are:
- The common cold – Yes, catching a cold which is, generally speaking, a respiratory infection often triggers an asthma attack in children. It’s bad enough for a child to be sick with a cold, coughing, sneezing, congestion, and then on top of that… asthma!
- Smoke – You don’t usually have to warn asthmatics not to smoke. But sometimes their parents need to be reminded what breathing second-hand smoke does to an asthmatic.
- Medications, such as aspirin – That’s right, even something as beneficial to many people’s health as aspirin can send an asthmatic into a severe attack. This is, perhaps, the most surprising in a list of asthma triggers in children. Asthmatics must be careful with medications they take, especially over-the-counter drugs.
- Prolonged laughing or crying- Can you imagine what asthmatic children must have to do to reign in their emotions because of the fear of laughing or crying could make them unable to breathe? Without strong emotional reactions like these, life can be rather bland. Parents often overly-shelter their asthmatic children. They tend to live rather secluded and asocial childhoods, unable to do so many of the things other kids do.
- Cooking fumes- While many of us enjoy coming into a kitchen filled with the wonderful aroma of our favorite foods cooking, asthmatic children cannot usually take that chance. The smell of certain foods can trigger an asthma attack. Because they don’t know what could trigger an attack, they just need to stay away from the kitchen. That would be very hard for some of us!