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Asthma is one of the most common health problems in Singapore especially amongst children, with every one in five children diagnosed. It is a chronic disease when the airways suddenly became narrower, causing difficulty in breathing. Symptoms include shortness of breath, tightness of the chest as well as wheezing and coughing. 

However, children diagnosed with asthma usually outgrow it when they get older. But for those diagnosed with severe asthma, they will have asthma even as they get older. 

There are two treatments for asthma- one to relieve the symptom when an asthma attack occurs, and the other works as prevention by reducing the sensitivity to irritants. 

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, other than the medications provided, here are some ways which you can manage the ailment.  

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1. Identify Asthma Trigger

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, the first thing you should do is to get your child tested and find out what exactly will trigger the asthma attack so that you can help better to keep asthma under control.

Asthma triggers include lots of things, from pollen, dust, flu, smoke to even cockroaches. Get your child tested at any local hospitals or clinics by undergoing a skin prick test or a blood test to help identify his asthma trigger and try to avoid them as much as possible.

If there’s any food allergies, asthma can also affect how the reaction is!

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2. Keep Your Environment Clean

Are you changing your bedsheets every week? If you have not been doing so, it’s time to start doing so. This applies to curtains, carpets and cushions as well. Keep those soft toys at bay too!

If it gets too much to change every week, remove carpets and change to diatomite mat which are absorbent but with fur. As for the curtains, opt for blinds instead. Clean your shelves regularly to avoid any dust accumulation that might trigger your child’s asthma attack.

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3. Turn On The AC

Even if your child is at home, he can still be triggered by the allergens in the air – fumes, smoke, mould etc. What you can do to keep these at bay from triggering another asthma attack is to close the windows and turn on the air-conditioner. Set the temperature of the air-con to no lower than 25-degree Celcius. 

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4. Get Vaccinated 

Get your child vaccinated for flu each year. As the flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines are constantly revised as well to keep up with it. Did you know that people with asthma have a higher chance of having complications from the flu?

If you are travelling overseas, do visit your GP and get a flu jab at least 2 weeks before you travel. That’s because vaccine immunity will only develop 2 weeks after vaccination!  

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5. Exercise

Many parents might be worried that their child will trigger an asthma attack when they exercise, but exercising can actually help to build stamina. As your child’s stamina increase, the experience of shortness of breath will lessen as well. It improves your child’s immune system as well, helping the body to fight off infections which may trigger an asthma attack. For a start, you can introduce swimming to your child if their asthma is under control.