Symptoms of Asthma in Children:
Common signs and symptoms of asthma in children below the age of 5 are:
(c)Trouble in breathing.
(d)A tight uncomfortable feeling in the chest.
Some children may have few symptoms but others can have severe asthma attacks.
Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It causes repeated episodes of wheezy chest, breathlessness and cough. It is a highly distressing disorder, more so, when the patient is a small child.
Tests and Diagnosis of Asthma in Children:
Diagnosing asthma in young children can be very tricky. Other than asthma, viral infections can also cause symptoms like coughing and wheezing. For this reason the asthma can only be diagnosed when the child is little older. For older children doctors can use breathing tests (lung function tests) such as spirometry or peak flow measurement. Generally children under the age of 5 cannot be able to do these tests.
Treatment of Asthma in Children:
If your child’s symptoms are severe then your doctor can recommend you to see an asthma specialist. Your doctor will want the child to use the right type and amount of medication so as to avoid the side effects of the medication. By watching the child’s condition the doctor can “step up” the treatment to a higher dose or add any other medication. If the asthma is well controlled then he can “step down” the treatment by reducing the child’s medications. The doctor may suggest those medicines that will work for the treatment of asthma in your child as per his/her judgement.
Fortunately asthma can be completely cured by yoga. People, generally, never get an attack once they start doing the right practices. But children below 7 or 8 find it difficult to follow the recommended techniques.
Yogic Kriya: However, I’ve found the combination of the following practices sufficient to diffuse the attack and even avoid it all together. At the first sign of an attack, make the child drink half a glass of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt. If it induces vomiting, well and good: it becomes a yogic kriya that is an important part of the treatment for asthma. Even if there is no vomiting, it still helps clearing the air passage for easier breathing (not to be done more than 2-3 times a month).
In asthma, the lungs become weak and do not develop well. The following yogic techniques can prevent this.
1. Let the child blow a conch. It empties the lungs of stale air and fills it with pure oxygen, while exercising and strengthening this vital organ.
2. Make the child practice makarasana a few times during the day. This asana opens up the lungs and drawing blood to this organ, rejuvenates it. The technique is as follows:
(a)Lie down on your stomach with the head popped up, keeping the hands under the chin. Remain in this posture for 4-5 minutes or more.
3. Basil is known to have therapeutic effect on the respiratory system. Keep a number of basil plants and encourage the child to spend as much time as possible near them to absorb its vapour.
4. Keep a basil leaf in a conch shell with a little water, overnight. In the morning, grind it and give it to the child.
Asthma is basically a psychosomatic ailment and responds favourably to this simple meditative practice that small children find easy to follow. The technique is as follows:
(a)In place of the musical notes Sa Re Ga Ma…., sing Oum, Oum, Oum, Oum…
(b)Ask the child to follow you for 5-10 minutes.
Some basic practice to follow:
You should try to avoid the factors that trigger asthma. This includes reducing contact with anything that the child is allergic to, such as animal hair or pollen. Always wash the child’s hands after touching things that trigger his/her asthma, especially when stroking pets.
Try and reduce house dust mite residues, if the child is allergic to it .Avoid tobacco smoke wherever possible.