Raising a teenager is tough enough, but becomes considerably more challenging when you throw conditions such as asthma into the mix.
Thankfully, managing your child’s symptoms doesn’t have to take a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Sure, there might be a few roadblocks along the way, but no parent should feel powerless as their child deals with asthma.
Whether your child has suddenly developed asthma or hasn’t grown out of it in their teenage years, there’s no need to be alarmed or distraught. Instead, stick to the following proactive parenting tips to help assist your child in dealing with this pesky condition.
Figure Out Their Medical Need
For most teens, a maintenance plan represents the best way to deal with wheezing and shortness of breath. In addition to a traditional rescue inhaler, teens should also take an over-the-counter allergy medication such as Allegra or Zyrtec in addition to a daily, preventative inhaler.
These medications don’t have to break the bank, by the way. Rescue inhalers are relatively cheap under many insurance plans and allergy medicine can be bought in bulk from wholesale retailers (think: Costco) or online. Also, you can find online discounts for Symbicort and other preventative inhalers on the web.
Encourage Them to Be Active
Despite popular belief, asthma doesn’t have to be totally debilitating for teens who want to play sport. While the severity of your child’s symptoms should be taken into account, most teenagers can do rigorous physical activity with peace of mind as long as their medication is sorted out.
In fact, many people who suffer from asthma actually note less severe symptoms as a result of increasing their cardio capacity through exercise. If your child isn’t particular active now, encourage them to take part in less strenuous activities such as walking or biking to get them started on a path toward increased fitness for the sake of their symptoms.
Consider Some Dietary Changes
The jury’s still out on the fine details of asthma and diet, it should be noted that some sufferers do notice changes in their condition based on their eating habits. From going gluten-free to cutting out dairy or processed foods, a general clean-up of your teen’s diet is likely a step in right direction. If nothing else, cleaner eating can help encourage other healthy habits and weight loss which ultimately strengthens their body’s ability to deal with asthma.
Of course, this can be difficult for teenagers who tend to have a sweet tooth. Given that you can’t monitor your child’s eating habits 24/7, helping them understand the benefits of a better diet could at least plant the seed for your teen to make some changes. Also remember that dietary changes could take weeks or months to take effect, so patience is key.
Show Your Support
Asthma can feel like a total drag and be the cause of depression who those that feel their condition keeps them from living a “normal” life.
Teach your child that asthma is not the end of the world. In fact, living with asthma as a teenager and adult is comparatively easy versus many other chronic medical conditions. Besides, there’s always the chance that your teen could outgrow their symptoms over time.
Raising a teenager with asthma means knowing how to help. With these tips in mind, you can remind your child of your support and show them that living their desired life with the condition is totally possible.