Asthma is the number one reason for hospital emergency room visits for children in Australia. With the highest age group being between 0 – 4 years old. Whilst you’re working with your doctor to manage your child’s asthma, it may happen than you find yourself in the emergency room of your local hospital due to a flare up or an attack that can’t be managed at home.
Some parenting strategies to think about before an event, that may help you be prepared:
1. Keep Calm
Impossible to feel calm in an emergency situation, but fake it. If a child sees Mum or Dad upset, it will upset them too. It is also difficult to think through what needs to be done if you panic.
2. Drive or call an ambulance?
If you’re even thinking about this, just call the ambulance 000. The ambulance has the equipment needed and can attend to your child as soon as they arrive.
3. Be organised out of habit
Keep the asthma plan and medication in an easy to find location, make a habit of using a log book. You will be asked questions regarding what medication has been given, at what times. This information helps medical staff help your child.
On arrival at hospital, you will be asked to register you information with them, including private health fund details and medicare numbers. Keep those cards with you if you don’t already.
Keep a small bag ready to go (nappy bag for a younger child) with a change of clothes for your child, notepad and pencils, a small familiar item such as a small toy to cuddle or play with, change for vending machines, and what you would need for yourself if unable to get home for the next 12 hours.
The Asthma Foundation explains what may happen whilst in hospital as well as valuable information regarding support and education.
Speak to you doctor so you understand what to do in an emergency. Review the asthma plan together, talk about what you should do for each step of the plan.
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