Watching someone suffer from an asthma attack can be a frightening experience, especially if you have never witnessed one before. However knowledge is power, and if you’re able to help someone through their asthma attack, you just might help in saving their life.
Most children and teenagers hate to be different to their peer group, they want to “belong” and being an asthmatic is often perceived to be “uncool” or “nerdy” Many children and teenagers also dislike taking their medication and inhalers especially when with their friends. This can make their asthma unstable and make them more prone to an attack.
Children are also frequently unaware of the importance of keeping away from allergens that make their asthma worse, especially if it is a pet, this can also have what can be at times quite severe repercussions on their health.
And many children and teenagers refuse to acknowledge the fact they have asthma and refuse to make any concessions to it such as taking their medications, and preventative measures.
The problem with any of the above is that an asthma attack is usually just waiting to happen, and sometimes it is the person who is on the sidelines that has to give the asthma sufferer the treatment they need to ensure their condition does not worsen to the point of them being extremely ill. In fact, because of the stigma attached to asthma by teenagers etc and their refusal to take their medication the death rate amongst this age group has risen over the last few years.
If you know someone who is an asthmatic, you are being a good friend to them if you enquire about their condition and take an interest in it. Its important that they realize their friends do not think they are uncool because they suffer from asthma.
Many teenagers and children often feel embarrassed about their need to use their inhalers and other medications, but it’s important that they do on a regular basis to keep their asthma under control.
If your friend starts to have an asthma attack, the worst thing you can do is panic. If you panic, they are liable to do so as well and this could make the asthma attack worse. The best thing to do (if you don’t already know) is to ask your friend what it is you can do to help them.
Sit them up as this will help their breathing, don’t let them lay flat.
Ensure they take their reliever medication (which is usually a blue inhaler); this should normally do the trick, though sometimes they may need to take an extra dose later.
If possible, try and send someone for an adult who can come and help you. If you are near a phone, and you are really concerned about your friend, you may need to call the emergency services, (you won’t get into trouble for doing this if it’s found not to be needed). After all its better to be safe than sorry.