Tag Archive | "toddler sickness"

Surprising Facts About Asthma In Children

Asthma is an inflammatory illness in the airway. This condition is not new for parents with toddlers. But, did you know there are hidden facts about asthma in children? Below are surprising facts about asthma in children every parent needs to know to help their precious ones breathe easier.

Fact # 1: A toddler who had eczema as a baby has a higher risk of developing asthma later.

This fact is the most surprising facts about asthma in children. There is a strong connection between eczema and asthma. Doctors call it the “allergic march” – children who have eczema as an infant go on to develop allergies (often food and airborne allergies) and then asthma. However, the risk of your toddler developing asthma later can be minimized by treating hay fever with medications and allergy shots or immunotherapy.

Fact # 2: Exposing a toddler to certain environmental factors can lead to the development of asthma.

Certain environmental factors can trigger asthma symptoms such as being near a traffic-related area where pollution is very high. A toddler exposed to pollution and high levels of ozone has a bigger chance of getting asthma. Other environmental factors include – tobacco, perfumes, cleaning fluids, wood smoke, dust mites (a very common asthma trigger), mold, seasonal weather changes (especially when pollen levels are higher), animal dander as well as indoor swimming pools (the chlorine in pool water can cause a toddler’s airway to experience changes which can lead to asthma).

Fact # 3: A toddler who does not wheeze can still have asthma.

If your toddler has a chronic or ongoing cough, it may not be a persistent cold or a symptom of allergy. Recurrent bronchitis can also be an indication of underlying asthma. Coughing is one common symptom of asthma but other factors can cause a cough so an accurate analysis is necessary. To do this, you toddler’s doctor may perform a test called spirometry to gauge the volume of air your toddler can breathe out forcefully into a tube. The doctor will listen for wheezing (narrowing of airway), coughing and shortness of breath which comes from the muscles in the airways narrowing and from the swelling of the lining.

Fact # 4: A toddler with asthma can perform various activities.

It is not true that asthma can limit a toddler’s activities. All too often, parents limit their children to do certain things to prevent asthma attacks, but this is not necessary. In fact, doing various activities such as sports and exercises can improve an asthmatic toddler’s condition. As long as right medication is used at the right time, adequate rest and healthy eating habits are observed, a toddler with asthma will be fine.

Fact # 5: Mild cases of asthma in children should not be taken for granted.

Toddlers with mild asthma may not suffer as much as children with full-blown asthma but it is still very important for parents not to let their guard down. A toddler with asthma, mild or severe can easily develop upper respiratory illnesses which can aggravate the condition. A parent should also be cautious about exposing the toddler to foods with sulphites such as packaged fruit jams, canned vegetables and baked goods and certain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Fact # 6: A toddler’s asthma action plan must be constantly re-evaluated.

According to pediatric pulmonologists, a toddler who has persistent asthma has to have a written asthma action plan. This asthma action plan must be reassessed with your toddler’s doctor at least 2 to 4 times a year. Young children are also required to use a peak flow meter to help figure out how well their asthma is being controlled. This should be done every morning before a toddler takes his medications. The record must be shown to the doctor so the doctor can adjust a toddler’s asthma action plan accordingly.

Fact # 7: Asthma is often referred to as Reactive Airway Disease.

Some doctors do not directly diagnose a toddler of having an asthma condition for two reasons – the toddler is too young to undergo examinations that can help detect asthma or the toddler has very sensitive airways but the doctor is unsure if it is asthma and it may be something the toddler will outgrow before adulthood.

Asthma is a very widespread childhood disease in the United States. There are a lot of facts about asthma in children but the seven facts mentioned above are unknown to a lot of parents.

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Understanding Pet Allergies In Children

Allergies in children are widespread. In fact, it is one of the most common childhood diseases. Household pets are considered a common source of allergies in children. Here is a guide to help parents become more informed of the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of pet allergies in children.

What causes pet allergies in children?

Pet allergies in children are an immune reaction to the pet’s dander – a gooey substance made up of saliva and very small skin flakes. Toddlers may also be allergic to the animal’s saliva, urine or feces. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, heredity can also make an individual more susceptible to allergies. If one or both the parents of a toddler have allergies, then there is a big probability that the toddler will also be allergic to something.

What are the signs and symptoms?

It is very important for parents of young children who have pets at home to be aware of the potential symptoms of an allergy to a pet. Here are the indicators that a toddler is allergic to an animal:

•    Stuffy nose
•    Itchy, red or watery eyes
•    Sneezing
•    Coughing
•    Wheezing
•    Rashes, hives and the development of a full-blown asthma (for severe cases of pet allergy)

Symptoms of pet allergy may even transpire even when a toddler is not in close proximity with the animal since the allergen can be found all over the indoor environment. Hence, it will take some work to figure out whether it is your pet or something else that is causing the problem.

Diagnosing The Problem

If you are not sure your household pet is causing the problem, you may want to take your little one to an allergist to help identify the source of irritant. An allergist will perform a thorough evaluation of your toddler’s medical record and complete a physical examination. A skin or blood test is also good for assessing your toddler’s level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies as it relates to particular allergens. Skin testing is better as it delivers quicker and more precise results than blood tests. After 15 to 20 minutes, the allergist searches for bumps or marks like small mosquito bites that show an allergy.

Treating Pet Allergies In Children

Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for pet allergies in children. But, there are some things you can do to minimize the symptoms. Removing the pet from your home is the most common solution. Your allergy doctor may recommend a saline nasal rinse that contains antihistamine if it is a mild respiratory infection. Allergy shots can also be used if the symptoms persist even after getting rid of the pet and taking medications. Allergy shots can help reduce the symptoms and desensitize the immune system.

Preventing Pet Allergies In Children

Minimize Contact

You might have to give your pet up if your toddler is suffering from pet allergy. But if this is not possible, you can keep your pet outdoors. Make sure your pet does not come into your toddler’s bedroom. Another idea is to find a pet that is more allergy-friendly such as a fish, turtle or cats and dogs that shed less frequently to minimize pet dander.

Change Your Toddler’s Clothes

Change your toddler’s clothes after he plays with your pet. Wash his hands immediately. Make sure he takes a bath every night before going to bed so as to keep allergens from tracking into his room.

Install A Filtration System

Install a filtration system around your house to remove the pet allergens circulating in the air. Get one with a MERV rating of 12 in the heater and air-conditioning unit. See to it you change the filter every 3 months to keep the air in your home clean throughout the year. In addition, it is also a good idea to leave the fan on to create a whole-house air filter to remove the particles that may trigger pet allergy.

Clean Your Home Regularly

Another way to prevent pet allergies in children is to clean your house frequently. Invest in a vacuum cleaner with advanced filtration system to remove dander as well as dust mites, molds and other allergens in the air. Dust appliances and furnitures. Remove your carpets as they can trap pet dander and replace them with smooth flooring such as vinyl, linoleum or hardwood.

Pet allergies in children are very common and it can make a toddler’s life difficult. But, with the help of this information, parents now know how to manage them and make life easier for their toddler and the entire family.

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Treatment For Whooping Cough In Children

Whooping cough is a very common childhood disease. Also known as pertussis, this disease affects the upper respiratory tract and is very contagious. It starts with cold-like symptoms such as mild fever and coughing that becomes more pronounced with frequent coughing fits especially at night. When not treated at once, this can cause severe damage and can be life-threatening. For this reason, it is very important for every parent to know the treatment for whooping cough in children. Here are some tried and tested tips from the experts.

Consult With Your Pediatrician

The first thing parents should do when treating whopping cough in children is to consult with a pediatrician. Whooping cough is a bacterial infection; therefore, it can be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics can also prevent the infection from spreading. The doctor can prescribe you one which your toddler will have to take for two weeks. In addition, your pediatrician may also suction mucus from the respiratory system and give extra oxygen.

Get Plenty of Rest

At home, see to it that your little one gets plenty of rest. Let your toddler rest in bed and avoid letting him play physically demanding activities. Adequate rest will help your toddler boost up his immune system. To keep your little one from getting bored, do quiet activities such as listening to music, reading a book, drawing or completing a jigsaw puzzle.

Hydrate, Hydrate

Another very effective treatment for whooping cough in children is water. Whooping cough can cause a toddler to get dehydrated; hence, it is very important that you make sure your toddler is getting enough liquid in his body to replenish the lost fluids. Water, oral rehydration solution, soups, fresh fruit juice and tea are great sources of fluids that also provide nutrients.

Use A Cool Mist Humidifier

Run a cool mist vaporizer or humidifier in your home, especially in your toddler’s bedroom. A cool mist humidifier can treat whooping cough in children as it helps loosen up respiratory emissions and relieve irritated lungs and nasal passages to help with your little one’s breathing and ease his discomfort.

Offer Small Meals

A toddler with whooping cough will have a poor appetite and may vomit because of the coughing. So, feed your toddler smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Smaller meals are easier to digest than heavier meals. For instance, instead of feeding your toddler three regular meals, switch to six smaller meals.

Avoid The Irritants

Keep your sick toddler from irritants that could aggravate his condition. You can do this by cleaning your home frequently. Sterilize your toddler’s clothes, linens and toys. Make hand washing a habit not just for your toddler but for you and the rest of your family as well. Avoid exposing your toddler to people, especially those who are also sick. In addition, see to it your toddler is not exposed to tobacco smoke, aerosol sprays, fireplaces and other substances that can irritate his respiratory tract.

Give Your Toddler Pain Relievers

If your toddler has symptoms such as fever and sore throat, medications such as children’s acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) and ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin) can be effective in relieving your toddler’s uneasiness. But, do make sure you ask for your pediatrician’s go signal first as well as the recommended dosage before giving them to your toddler.

Never give your toddler aspirin or cough suppressants. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome – a rare but lethal disease and suppressants can hamper your toddler’s ability to heal.

Use Nose Drops

If your toddler’s nasal passageway is blocked due to mucus, you can use a nose drop to clear the passageway to help your toddler breathe more comfortably. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist what nose drop your toddler can use.

Go To The Hospital

If the above methods for treating whooping cough in children are ineffective, then your little one may need to be admitted in the hospital. Toddlers are more likely to get hospitalized because they are at a greater risk of incurring complications such as pneumonia, sinusitis and lung collapse. Your toddler will be observed and thoroughly examined. Intravenous (IV) fluids may also be given to prevent dehydration.

With the appropriate treatment, you can make sure that your toddler recuperates quickly from his bout of whooping cough. Also, if your toddler has not been vaccinated, then it would be best to make an appointment with your toddler’s pediatrician so your precious once can be immunized with the whooping cough vaccine.

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Causes, Signs, Treatment and Prevention of Frostbite In Children

The cold season is a time for viruses to spread which causes colds and flu in children. However, it can also cause frostbite in children. Frostbite can be very painful and uncomfortable for toddlers. Thus, it is very important for parents to know about frostbite in children. Here is a guide that will help you learn the causes, signs, treatment and prevention of frostbite in children.

What causes frostbite in children?

Frostbite in children is basically caused by exposure to very low temperature which exposes certain areas of the body such as the ears, nose, cheeks, chin, fingers and toes to extreme cold which can become frozen. This is because the skin and the body tissue beneath freezes. A toddler’s skin becomes very cold, then numb, hard and pallid. Toddlers are more at risk of incurring frostbite because of their sudden drops in body temperatures when in the outdoors.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The following are some common signs and symptoms of frostbite in children:

Skin Discoloration

The most common indication that a toddler has frostbite is when the skin exposed to extreme cold turns red and inflamed. If the skin is exposed for a long period of time, it will then appear to be white or purplish in color (looks like a bruise).

Skin Cracks or Has Blisters

A part of the skin that has been frostbitten feels odd when you touch it. Some toddlers may experience cracking and blistering which can be very discomforting. The skin can also appear shiny and puffy or flaky and hard to touch.

Strange Skin Sensations

A toddler with frostbite might feel a burning or prickling sensation. As the frostbite exacerbates, the toddler might feel numbness and the pain might subside but this just actually means that the frostbite is aggravating.

Speech and Dexterity Problems

Another sign of frostbite in children is when a toddler has trouble speaking due to the loss of body heat. You may also notice a toddler having difficulty with his dexterity.

How is frostbite in children treated?

If you notice that one or more of these symptoms are experienced by your toddler, then it is very essential that you follow these tips for treating frostbite in children.

Warm The Body

Warm the body as soon as possible without placing heat directly on the affected areas. Do not touch your toddler’s affected skin. Instead, move your toddler to a warm location. Remove his wet clothing and dress your toddler in dry and warm clothes. Wrapping his body with a blanket can also help.

Seek Medical Help

Immediate medical attention is necessary as your toddler is at risk of infection or permanent tissue damage. The doctor will be able to prescribe good recommendations for treating your toddler’s frostbite (e.g. applying topical creams or skin grafting for severe cases). The doctor will also check for hypothermia (extreme low body temperature).

Re-warm Affected Areas Gradually

For superficial or minor cases of frostbite, what you need to do is to re-warm the affected parts slowly. You can gently tuck your toddler’s hands under your armpits. Applying warm compress also helps. You can also immerse your toddler’s fingers and toes in lukewarm (not hot) water – about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Giving your toddler something warm to drink such as milk, tea, water or soup can also provide comfort.

A word of advice: Never rub your toddler’s fingers or use a heating device (e.g. hairdryer) to warm the affected areas as this will only increase the damage in the skin tissue.

How can frostbite be prevented?

Supervise Your Toddler Outdoors

Letting your toddler play during cold weather is perfectly fine. But, do make sure to keep the time he spends outside short, say 15 to 20 minutes. Make it a point to check his face, ears, fingers and toe every so often so you can check for signs of frostbite.

Dress Your Toddler For The Weather

Another way to prevent frostbite in children is to dress toddlers appropriately. Meaning, you have to make sure you dress your little one in layers. Have your toddler wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, jacket, scarf, hat, mittens, socks and well-fitting boots.

Keep Your Toddler Dry

See to it your toddler stays dry outdoors. Whenever he gets wet, remove wet clothes at once because moisture draws off heat from the skin.

Always be vigilant during cold, windy days. Wind makes the skin lose heat faster, which enhances your toddler’s risk of frostbite.

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Stomach Ache Remedies For Toddlers

Toddlers often suffer from stomach aches. This can be due to food allergies, gas, indigestion or infections. Parents should keep a close eye on their toddlers to determine the cause of their child’s stomach ache. If the cause seems to be mild, it can be treated at home. Here are simple but very effective stomach ache remedies for toddlers.

Apply Heat

One of the best stomach ache remedies for toddlers is warm compress. Ask your toddler to sit or lie down and then place a hot water bottle or a washcloth dipped in hot water to the stomach for 10 minutes or more. Heat increases the blood flow to the skin’s surface which can relieve the pain.

Drink Ginger

Ginger is a great home remedy to give to toddlers with stomach ache. Ginger contains gingerol – a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the production of free radicals which can be harmful to the body, decrease constipation and nausea and neutralize stomach acids. To prepare ginger tea, grate a small piece of ginger and squeeze out its juice. Mix ¼ teaspoon of ginger juice with warm water and ½ teaspoon honey.

Sip Chamomile Tea

Give your little one a cup of chamomile tea (one cup of water per teabag). Chamomile tea is a very good home remedy for minor stomach aches because it has anti-inflammatory and calming properties which can lessen stomach discomfort. It soothes the muscle of the upper digestive system, alleviating the contractions that move food from the tummy and small intestines which can help ease abdominal cramps and spasms.

Offer Lemon Juice

Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice to a glass of warm water. This fresh fruit juice can help with digestion, relieving a painful stomach ache effectively and naturally.

Drink Plenty of Water

See to it your toddler drinks plenty of water throughout the day. Most often, cases of stomach ache in toddlers are caused by acidity imbalance. Drinking water can help reduce the imbalance. Let your toddler drink water while sitting down (not lying down) and in small sips every 30 minutes. Gulping down water in one go can cause more discomfort.

Offer Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are also one of the most effective stomach ache remedies for toddlers. Fennel seeds help boost up muscle and tendon movement in the tummy, getting rid of excess waste and promote healthy digestion.

Give A Massage

Giving your toddler a massage can also help treat stomach ache. Apply a few drops of essential oil such as lavender and mint to the stomach and then lightly massage in a circular, clockwise motion.
Or, you can also rub your toddler’s foot. Hold your toddler’s left foot with the palm of your right hand and place your left hand underneath the ball of the foot and apply a solid, even pressure with your thumb. Move slightly forward and repeat. Switch hands and repeat from right to left with the thumb of your right hand until you cover the middle of the arch.

Snack On Yogurt

Yogurt is full of natural healthy microorganisms that can help cure stomach ache. The good bacteria can help break down food, treat tummy cramps as well as diarrhea. Give your toddler a bowl of yogurt with live cultures to snack on. Yogurt is tasty so you will not have any problems serving it to your little one.

Serve The CRAP Diet

Offer your toddler the CRAP diet if he is suffering from stomach ache because of constipation. CRAP stands for cherries, raisins, apricots and prunes. These foods are rich in fiber which can regulate bowel movement. Make sure you puree these foods first before serving it to your toddler to prevent choking. Serve a half cup of any of these fruits 3 to 5 times a day.

These natural and homemade remedies can successfully treat stomach ache in toddlers. But, if your toddler’s stomach ache continues more than five days or if he loses his appetite, develops a fever, vomits and is easily exhausted, it is time to call the doctor.

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Treatment For Hay Fever In Children

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to airborne elements such as mold and pollen. Hay fever is very common in children. It attacks children during later summer or spring. Although this is not a serious illness, it can cause toddlers discomfort which can affect their participation in everyday activities. Here is a guide about the treatment for hay fever in children.


Antihistamines are the most commonly used medications for treating hay fever in children. It is available in both pill and liquid form. Antihistamines obstruct histamine (which the immune system generates during an allergic reaction), reducing runny nose, sneezing and itching. However, some over-the-counter antihistamines are ideal for treating mild or occasional symptoms but may cause drowsiness in toddlers. In addition, toddlers who develop hay fever must take a daily antihistamine for at least 2 months to keep the symptoms under control. Make sure you ask your toddler’s pediatrician first before giving this medicine to your toddler.

Sinus Rinsing

Another treatment for hay fever in children is sinus rinsing. In sinus rinsing, a bulb syringe is filled with saline solution to clean a toddler’s nostrils. The salty water flushes allergens from your toddler’s nose. It can be used every day, either on its own or together with other hay fever remedies. You can purchase a bulb syringe and saline packets from your local pharmacy. Or, you can also make your own saline solution by mixing 8 oz. warm water, ¼ tsp. kosher or pickling salt and ¼ tsp. baking soda in a clean container.

Prescription Nasal Sprays

Prescription nasal sprays can treat or prevent nasal irritation, itchiness and congestion from hay fever. Health experts recommend prescription nasal sprays as they can be safely used for long-term treatment. But, you should never use an OTC nasal spray to treat your toddler’s hay fever as this can exacerbate the symptoms.


Giving a toddler decongestant is another option for treating hay fever. Decongestants are available in nasal spray, pill or liquid form. They can help ease congestion in the nasal passageway and sinus. However, decongestants should only be used for a short period of time as they can cause side effects such as headaches, insomnia and increased blood pressure in toddlers.


Immunotherapy also known as allergy shots is another effective treatment for hay fever in children. This is done by frequently injecting the toddler with small quantities of the allergens that cause hay fever symptoms. Immunotherapy treatments normally last 3 to 5 years to desensitize the body from allergens and to build up the toddler’s immune system. This form of treatment is recommended if a toddler’s symptoms continue even after trying medications and if the toddler has allergy triggers that are difficult to avoid.


Another effective option is to place a few ice cubes in a moist washcloth over a toddler’s eyes for at least 10 minutes. The ice can alleviate itchy and swollen eyes. This treatment is best done before a toddler’s bedtime to help the child sleep easier.

Avoid The Triggers

Of course, any form of hay fever treatment will not be effective if you do not limit your toddler’s exposure from the triggers. In order to do this, you must - keep windows closed at night. Remove carpets from your toddler’s room. Sanitize your home regularly. Wash your pets every week and keep them in your backyard. Place allergy filters over air vents. Buy allergy-proof covers for your toddler’s pillows, mattress and stuffed toys. Teach him to wash his hands frequently. Give him a bath before bedtime. Keep your toddler inside your house early in the morning and during hot, dry, windy days (when mold and pollen counts are high) as much as possible.

If you have more questions about hay fever or if you notice unusual symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your toddler’s doctor.

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Swimmer’s Ear In Children

Most children love being in the water. However, too much time spent in the water can cause swimmer’s ear or otitis externa, an external ear infection. Here is a guide of what parents need to know about swimmer’s ear in children.

Causes of Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal, corroding the skin’s defensive lining, making it a good place for bacteria to breed. A toddler who swims often or puts his head under water when he takes a bath can have swimmer’s ear. Lake water is a common culprit but so is pool water, ocean water and water from showers.
Inserting something into the ear such as a cotton swab, a piece of food, a bead, or earphones and scratching the inside of the ear can also cause swimmer’s ear because these objects can strip off the protective earwax from the ear canal. In addition, allergies, diseases and skin conditions can also lead to swimmer’s ear.

What are the signs and symptoms of swimmer’s ear in children?

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear are normally mild at first. But they can get worse if the infection spreads or is not treated right away. Indications that a toddler has swimmer’s ear include:

•    Itching in the ear canal
•    Ear pain in only one ear that gets worse when pulled or when swallowing
•    Slight swelling inside the ear
•    Temporary hearing loss
•    Discharge of clear, yellow or smelly pus from the ear
•    Inflammation in the lymph nodes in the neck (for severe cases)

Diagnosing Swimmer’s Ear

You can try doing the ear movement test to check if your toddler has swimmer’s ear. Start by pushing the small flap that covers the ear canal. Pull back and up the entire ear and then push on the face (just in front of the ear).

You may also bring your toddler to the doctor. The doctor will use an otoscope (a lighted scope) to take a look of the ear canal. The doctor may also observe the discharge from the ear under a microscope to figure out if bacteria or fungi are causing the infection.

Treatment of Swimmer’s Ear In Children

Antibiotic Ear Drops

The doctor can prescribe an antibiotic ear drop which you have to put 5 to 10 drops into the ear 2 to 4 times a day for a week. Let it stay in the ear canal for at least 10 minutes and then let the fluid flow out onto a washcloth or tissue.


If your toddler is in pain, you may give your little one the correct dose of OTC or over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil or Motrin) to help reduce the pain until the ear drop takes effect. Never give your toddler aspirin.

Apply Heat

Another option for treating swimmer’s ear in children is by applying warm compress to the affected ear. Soak a small washcloth in lukewarm water and lightly press against the affected ear. If you are using a heating pad, wrap it in a towel before putting it next to your toddler’s ear to avoid burning the ear.

Preventive Measures

If your toddler is susceptible to swimmer’s ear, you may put preventive drops in your toddler’s ear after bathing or swimming. You can either buy a swimmer’s ear drop or make a homemade ear drop by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. These drops help prevent swimmer’s ear and puts the acid back in the ear canal.

Most importantly, teach your little one not to put things inside his ears. If you are going to clean your toddler’s ears, do not use a cotton swab. Use a soft washcloth instead.

If you have administered these treatments yet there is no improvement within two days or if the area behind the ear is red and tender, bring your toddler to the doctor.

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How To Help Your Toddler Cope With Asthma Attacks

Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease. Asthma attacks can impede with a toddler’s performance. But fortunately, there are plenty of ways parents can help their children cope with asthma attacks.

Control Asthma Symptoms

The first step is to control the symptoms. In order to do that, you have to know the symptoms of an asthma attack. Wheezing, coughing, tightness of chest, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, difficulty talking, bluish skin, flaring nostrils and fatigue are all signs of an asthma attack in children.

Avoid Common Asthma Triggers

Identify the triggers. According to the American Lung Association, asthma attacks are normally triggered by exercise, dust, smoke, cold air, mold, allergies (e.g. pet dander) and infections (e.g. the flu). Clean your home regularly. Stay away from people who smoke. Keep the family pet outside the house. Knowing what sets off the attack is a way of helping your toddler cope with the condition.

Educate Your Toddler

Asthma can be a terrifying condition for toddlers. Hence, it is important that you help your toddler understand what asthma is, how and why it happens and what steps he should follow to stop or prevent an asthma attack. During your next visit to the doctor, ask his pediatrician to explain his condition. Watch videos or read books about children with asthma. Try “The Lion Who Has Asthma” by Jonathan London or “Taking Asthma To School” by Barbara Mitchell. When your toddler understands his condition, he will be better equipped to deal with it.

Have An Emergency Inhaler On Hand

It is very crucial for a toddler with asthma to carry an emergency inhaler at all times in case of an asthma attack. This is a fast-acting medication that ease the spasms in the airway, making breathing easier.

Take Controller Medications

Controller medications are necessary for preventing asthma attacks. Inhaled steroid medication can be given to your toddler everyday using either a nebulizer (a battery or electric operated device that turns liquid medicine into a steam your toddler can inhale through a mask) or an MDI (a meter-dosed inhaler – a small spray can inserted into a long tube called a holding spacer which has a mouthpiece attached to it). Leukotriene (a chewable nonsteroidal tablet) may also be given for reducing inflammation.

Make sure controller medications are taken as prescribed by the doctor and that every family member, your toddler’s caregiver and teacher are aware of his condition and knows how to treat an asthma attack.

Encourage Physical Activity

Keep your toddler active. Exercise together. Play physical games. Enroll him in a soccer class. Go swimming. Asthma does not have to interfere with your toddler’s life. As long as he does not overexert himself, he will be fine. Using a bronchodilator before your toddler does anything active can increase airflow to the lungs, preventing an attack.

Eat Well

Make sure your toddler eats healthy. Include fruits and vegetables, dairy products such as egg, cheese and milk, fish, walnuts, whole grains, cereal, pasta, meat and poultry into his daily diet. Having a nutritious diet can help your toddler breathe easier, reducing bouts of asthma attacks.

There is no cure for asthma. But, with medical assistance and appropriate treatment, your toddler will be able to manage his asthma and function like other children.

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A Parent’s Guide To Bronchitis In Children

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes - large airways between the nose and the lungs. Toddlers with immature immune systems are most susceptible to bronchitis. Some toddlers have a speedy recovery while others may need weeks and months to recuperate. This guide will help parents better understand bronchitis in children.

Levels of Infection

There are 2 types of bronchitis– acute and chronic.

  • Acute bronchitis – A short-term infection that usually follows a cold or viral infection such as the flu which affects the nasal passages, sinuses and throat before entering the lungs.
  • Chronic bronchitis – A long-term infection that generates excess mucus in the lungs which causes chronic coughing until the infection is cleared out of the body. It can result to breathing difficulties making it a serious condition.

What causes bronchitis?

Bronchitis in children is normally caused by several viruses such as influenza A and B. Bacteria is another leading cause of bronchitis. This is a result of a sinus infection that has spread to the chest or by inhaling airborne bacteria such as cigarette and tobacco smoke, air pollution and chemical solvents. Allergies can also cause bronchitis in children. According to child health experts, toddlers who suffer from allergies or asthma are more likely to develop this infection due to the immune system’s sensitivity to substances such as dust, molds and pollen.

What are the symptoms?

Toddlers suffering from bronchitis will have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Coughing (starts out dry but later on produces greenish or yellowish mucus)
  • Low-grade fever (100 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Body pains
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will perform several tests to diagnose bronchitis. The pediatrician may base his finding on the physical symptoms your toddler may be experiencing. The doctor can order chest X-rays to verify the condition of the lungs. A device called pulse oximetry may also be used to evaluate the amount of oxygen that is in your toddler’s blood.

How is bronchitis treated?

Antibiotics will be given to your toddler if bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection. The doctor might also recommend running a cool-mist humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom to moisten the air and relieve your child’s breathing. Saline drops may also be used to ease congestion.

It is also very important that your toddler drinks plenty of fluids (about 8 to 10 glasses per day) to prevent dehydration and keep his airway free of irritants. Plenty of rest is also necessary. Elevate his head with a pillow while your toddler is sleeping to make breathing easier for him.

Giving your toddler a correct dose of children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help reduce his fever and discomfort. The doctor may also recommend cough medicine with expectorant to clear out mucus. Or if your toddler has asthma, a bronchodilator may be given to open up his airways.

Bronchitis is very common in children. But, you can protect your toddler from this disease by making sure he washes his hands regularly, maintains a well-balanced diet, gets adequate sleep and limits contact with sick people and people who smoke.

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What To Feed A Sick Toddler

A sick toddler normally loses his appetite which makes feeding a struggle. However, it is essential for a toddler to take in as many nutrients as possible to boost his immune system. These foods are perfect for keeping a toddler well-fed when he is feeling under the weather.

Plenty of Fluids

First of all, it is very important for a sick toddler to stay hydrated than stay fed. Whether it is a case of diarrhea, vomiting or low-grade fever, the body needs all of the water it can get in order to counter the infection. This way, even if your toddler rejects to eat but is able to drink, his immune system is still continuing to function. Make sure your toddler stocks up on these fluids:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oral rehydration solution (e.g. Pedialyte)
  • Broth
  • Popsicle
  • Apple juice
  • Hot cider
  • Orange juice mixed with ginger ale
  • Warm and fresh lemonade


For colds, sore throats and a congested nose, feed your toddler warm foods such as soups. Chicken soup has anti-inflammatory components and acts as a vaporizer, reducing nasal mucus which helps in your toddler’s breathing. You can add cooked macaroni or whole wheat cracker crumbs if your toddler has some appetite. Serving tomato soup with milk also helps. Just dilute the tomato soup with milk instead of water. It will reduce the tomato’s acidity and provide a tasty and creamier concoction.


The BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast) diet consist of foods that are tasteless and low in fiber. These foods are best offered for toddlers who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis and vomiting. These foods are great sources of vitamins and minerals that will not upset the stomach.


Another alternative that can sooth an upset tummy is the CRAM diet. CRAM stands for cereal, rice, apple sauce and milk. These foods have more fat and protein content making it a more effective remedy than BRAT according to child health experts.

High-fiber Foods

Offer your toddler foods rich in fiber if he is constipated. Breads, cereals, apples, oranges, raspberries, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, celery, green peas, lentils, prunes and prune juice help stimulate bowel movement to keep stools regular.


Non-fat yogurt is a cool and smooth food you can give your sick toddler. Yogurt is nutritious and easy to eat and digest. Plus, the probiotics can actually help fight off some of the bad bacteria that dwells in the stomach which are very helpful in treating diarrhea, typhoid and vomiting. Just make sure you avoid offering sugary yogurts to your little one as his tummy can reject sweet foods which will only aggravate his condition.

Regular Diet

If your toddler has fever, continue with his regular diet. Your toddler still has the appetite to eat but only in small amounts. Add dips, sauces or butter to his food to increase calorie intake. Give him crackers, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding or his favorite food.

The main idea is to keep your toddler healthy even when he is sick. Keep him hydrated and offer comfort foods. But, never force your toddler to eat. Just offer small, frequent meals throughout the day. His appetite will return once he is feeling better.

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