COVID-19 and Asthma in Pediatric patients

Covid19 Asthma, COVID Asthma, Asthma and Coronavirus, COVID and Asthma

If your child has asthma, the COVID-19 pandemic may be causing some concern and worry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that patients with moderate to severe asthma could be at greater risk for more severe disease. COVID-19 can affect the respiratory tract, cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and respiratory disease.

There is no published study to support this determination, but it’s important to remember that we are dealing with a new pandemic and learning new information every day.

There is no vaccine, as of now, to prevent contracting COVID nor is there a specific treatment. There are several ongoing efforts to develop a vaccine and research studies looking at drugs that can treat the disease, but the best thing we can do is to prevent the illness.

Following your child’s asthma action plan will help you keep their asthma under control. Make sure you have access to your child’s asthma action plan – if you don’t, please contact your doctor’s office. We at Pediatrics Healthcare Associates routinely care for children with Asthma. Please set up your appointment by clicking here. It is recommended to continue the inhaled steroids prescribed to control your child’s asthma especially in the wake of the ongoing pandemic.

Stopping a controller medication without discussing it with your child’s physician can put them at risk for developing an asthma exacerbation. In the current pandemic, treatment of an exacerbation will likely require a hospital encounter to the emergency room or urgent care, where your child has a much higher risk of being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Continuing your child’s controllers as prescribed will reduce the chances of developing an asthma exacerbation and exposure to COVID-19. 

Another thing you can do is ensure your child’s prescription medications (controller and rescue inhalers) are refilled in a timely manner.

Other preventative measures you can take for your child right now include:

  • Avoiding asthma triggers such as tobacco smoke, respiratory infections, dust mites, outdoor air pollution, pets, or mold.

  • Encouraging your child to wash hands often with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoiding crowds and people who are sick as well as all non-essential travel.

  • If someone in your home is sick, have them stay away from the rest of the household to reduce the risk of spreading the virus in your home.

  • If possible, have someone who doesn’t have asthma do the cleaning and disinfecting. Avoid disinfectants that can cause an asthma attack.

Common presenting symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. Less common symptoms are sore throat, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms can be similar to many other common respiratory illnesses.

When your asthmatic child starts with symptoms of cough or wheezing, follow the asthma action plan and administer quick-relief medications (albuterol/levalbuterol) as per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

If your child experiences severe symptoms or if you have immediate concerns please call 911.

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