NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
Is preterm birth associated with asthma among children from birth to 17 years old? A study based on 2011-2012 US National Survey of Children’s Health
CLICK HERE to read article.
Preterm birth can interrupt lung development in utero and is associated with early life factors, which adversely affects the developing respiratory system
Asthma is a chronic (lifelong) disease that can be serious, sometimes even life-threatening. This chronic lung disease makes it harder to move air in and out of the lungs. Airways become swollen and inflamed and extra sensitive to things in the environment which can trigger asthma.
These triggers can be:
When asthmatics experience a trigger, their airways create more mucous and swell, consequently making it difficult to breathe. Prevention by avoiding triggers is the most important part of asthma treatment.
Some symptoms of asthma are:
These can be symptoms of mild asthma and may go away after a few days.
Most asthma episodes are mild, however some children will suffer with severe asthma:
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, babies born prematurely are more likely to develop asthma, however most will grow out of it. The study showed that as adults, those born prematurely suffer no more lung conditions than those born full term.
Children born prematurely account for a very high proportion of the small children with asthmatic symptoms, but as they grow older, the trend becomes less pronounced," says Theis Lange, an associate professor at the Section of Biostatistics at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
CLICK HERE to read article.
Asthma parent information and videos from the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne:
If your child has problems breathing, wheezing, or coughing and you are concerned that your child may have asthma, it is extremely important that your child is thoroughly examined by your GP and their medical history is considered.
Remember to share your child’s birth story with your GP, either if born preterm or critically ill at birth. The doctor will enquire about your child’s symptoms eg, wheeze, shortness of breath, when these symptoms occur, what may trigger these symptoms and what alleviates them.
Try to keep track of suspected causes such as smoke, cold air and foods as this information will help make a diagnosis and then a treatment plan. The treatment may include medication such as an inhaler to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks as well as oral medications to reduce the symptoms.
It can be helpful to keep documentation related to your child’s medical history (discharge summaries, vaccinations, growth, medications) together especially when seeing a new GP or during a hospital admission.
Currently there is no treatment available that can completely cure asthma, though with careful management the severity of the symptoms can be reduced as well as the occurrence of attacks. With a good treatment plan and the support of your doctor, your child can play sport and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
“This is a very valuable resource for parents of a preterm baby to help them understand the challenges which may be faced in childhood and adolescence, and how best to advocate for their child in a variety of settings.” - Professor Lex Doyle