It is very important to be honest with your child about his/her disease, the severity of the disease and the use of medications. Always remember as your child grows, independence is an important goal for a child. They do not want to be different, yet they will need guidance and supervision on any restrictions they might have.
This age group relies completely on the parents. They understand little about the disease. The most important factor with this age group is to try to make medication time a fun one, while stressing the importance of taking the medications. Let them assist in any way possible.
This group has an increased ability to understand their disease and its impact. They should be taught about their medications, how to exercise restriction and how to avoid their triggers. They should be allowed to play with peers and monitor their own symptoms.
Generally, adolescents resist having to take chronic medications, do not like having restrictions on their life and do not want to be different. It is crucial to involve your adolescent in every aspect of the management of his/her asthma. He/she should help with goal-setting and help decide which medications work best for him/her. Asthma contracts can be given to your adolescent child in order that he/she may have some control of his/her asthma, yet continue to allow overall parental supervision of his/her condition.
Having asthma does not have to mean having less fun than other adolescents. It is important for your adolescent child to tell his/her friends what triggers their asthma, especially cigarette smoke, but also perfumes, or after-shaves, depending on his/her sensitivity. In addition, your adolescent child should continue taking all asthma medications as prescribed. If your adolescent child has symptoms with exercise, he/she may need to take a preventive medicine before participating in any physical activities, such as dancing or sports. Always consult your child's physician if you have questions.