Asthma is hard on adults, but for children, it’s especially hard for them to understand why they have different rules than the other children. When your child is diagnosed with asthma, you have to take some time to explain what is going on, and what they can do to stay healthy.
Asthma is one of the most common childhood ailments. As of 1998, over eight million children in the United States have asthma. If your baby has eczema, he or she has a fifty percent chance of developing asthma during childhood.
While the diagnosis of asthma may be scary to you, it may not faze your child at first. Children often believe their reality is exactly the same as everyone else. When explaining to your child, try your best to reassure them that they are no different from anyone else; they just have to be more careful in their daily life. No child wants to feel like they are different.
There are new changes in your child’s life that they may not understand. There may be new medications, and occasions when they have to stay home when the other kids are out having fun. They may even have to say goodbye to a favorite pet.
How do you make this easier on them? In many ways, you can’t. Their life is changing and this can be hard on anyone. Let your child know it is OK for them to be sad, but also reinforce the notion that they should always focus on the positive parts of their life.
Keep in mind that medical terminology might frighten your child, and chances are, they don’t understand those big words anyway. Use the simplest terms you can to explain what is going on. Check out your local library or bookstore. They should have books geared towards helping your child understand asthma.
Go over the warning signs of an attack with them, again, using simple terms and explanations. Be specific and clear with them about what they need to know. Assure them they can come to you any time with any questions and concerns they may have, and that you are always happy to listen and help.
Life may have changed in regards to what your child can and cannot do. Your child may be feeling that many things are now off limits, and this can be depressing. This will be easier to deal with if you add new activities they can do. Create new traditions and activities to replace the ones that had to go away.
Your child may not be scared at first, but as time goes on they may get worried if they don’t know what is going on. You should take the mystery out of what is happening by involving them in all aspects of their treatment. Don’t go behind closed doors with doctors or teachers, because this may scare them.
Lastly, let them know they are the same wonderful kid they have always been, but things will be a little different now. Enforce the notion that they are not different, just certain aspects of what they can do have changed. The best medicine for a scared child can be love, so give it freely and give it often.