Question: What is the right age for a child to use a peak-flow meter? Which are the other ways a child can contribute and participate in self-care?
Answer: Asthma and wheezing are among the top ten factors of illness why children visit doctors. Asthma is a serious and most common childhood illness. Asthma can develop as early as infancy. But maximum asthma appears between ages two and five. That in when antibodies to inhalant allergens increase in a child’s body. Childhood asthma is usually allergic or extrinsic asthma.
If a child is old enough, say above five years then he can certainly use a peak-flow meter to detect the changes in lung function before the onset of an asthma attack.
Peak Flow Meter For Children With Asthma
Children can generally use peak-flow meter every morning and evening and whenever symptoms occur. Peak flow meter should be used only under a doctor’s prescription, and for proper usage they should follow the manufacturer’s directions. One should check periodically to see if the child is following proper instructions.
The traffic-light zone system of interpreting peak-flow measurements is very helpful for children. Peak-flow measurements help to teach children about the cause and effect: The meter helps to demonstrate how exposure to a trigger affects and hinders his ability to breathe deeply and fully.And so he learns why triggers should be avoided, and thereby prevent the unpleasant experience of an asthma flare-up.
There are other ways by which children can contribute to self-care. They can maintain their own asthma diary. Children can also attempt to learn the functioning of the disease and respect their own limitations.
In doing so they become responsible and avoid triggers, they follow the management plan and use the medications as directed. In short, they learn to make informed and appropriate decisions about their health and medical care.