8 things you need to know about asthma in Singapore kids

May 15, 2018
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    One in 5 kids in Singapore suffers from asthma, but there are many myths surrounding this respiratory disease. Experts from the Asthma & Allergy Association tell you what’s fact and what’s fiction.

    The Asthma & Allergy Association (AAA) is a community-based organisation in Singapore that aims to educate asthma patients, as well as their families, friends and caregivers.

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  • Is asthma hereditary?
    2 / 9 Is asthma hereditary?

    No. Environmental factors can make a person more vulnerable to asthma too. For example, smoking worsens narrowing of the airways, hence the condition. That said, if both parents have asthma, the condition is more likely to occur in the child by 70 per cent; 30 per cent if one parent has it; and 6 per cent if neither parent has it.

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  • Does asthma affect only children?
    3 / 9 Does asthma affect only children?

    No. It affects people of all ages. Studies show that 20-50 per cent of patients with childhood asthma “outgrow” the condition, although symptoms could return in adulthood.

    Related: Pregnant: how to prevent baby from getting asthma

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  • Should asthma patients refrain from exercise?
    4 / 9 Should asthma patients refrain from exercise?

    No. Exercise helps you breathe better and stay healthy. Many professional athletes including swimmers have their asthma under control. Speak with your doctor before starting an exercise programme.

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  • Are asthma inhalers used only when a patient feels breathless?
    5 / 9 Are asthma inhalers used only when a patient feels breathless?

    No. Patients on maintenance inhalers, which contain inhaled corticosteroids, must use these every day to avoid flare-ups. Rescue inhalers, for example, Salbutamol inhalers, help to open the windpipe hence are used only when you feel breathless. Check with the doctor or nurse if unsure.

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  • Are asthma inhalers addictive?
    6 / 9 Are asthma inhalers addictive?

    No. Asthma inhalers do not contain any drugs that can cause addiction. The inhaled corticosteroids are deposited almost entirely into the airways and not absorbed into the body. As long as you rinse your mouth after use, there should not be any side-effects such as oral thrush.

    Related: 4 things every parent of kids with asthma must know

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  • Is asthma related to digestive disorders and allergies?
    7 / 9 Is asthma related to digestive disorders and allergies?

    Yes. About 50-70 per cent of adult patients also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In younger patients, 70-80 per cent also have allergic rhinitis while 50 per cent, eczema. Controlling these conditions can help to keep asthma under control.

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  • Can asthma attacks be prevented?
    8 / 9 Can asthma attacks be prevented?

    Yes. Using maintenance inhalers every day, avoiding triggers and getting your annual flu vaccinations will help to keep asthma under control.

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  • Are asthma attacks life-threatening?
    9 / 9 Are asthma attacks life-threatening?

    Yes. If severe, attacks can cause oxygen levels to plunge or the heart to stop. Seek medical attention immediately if an attack does not subside after using a rescue inhaler.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: 6 travel health mistakes that could ruin your family holiday

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How do you know if you're too soft with your preschooler? Most children like to have or do whatever they want – and that’s where learning to follow rules and thinking about others come in. A positive, warm, fair and consistent style of discipline at home encourages your child to think of others, not just of herself. However, some parents prefer to take a softer approach. But where do you draw the line? Here are 10 signs that you may be too soft with your kid. 1. You never say “no”
No matter how well behaved, every child needs to have limits set on their behaviour at times. And that’s why every parent – including you – occasionally has to say “no” to their kid, whether it’s denying her request for extra sweets, or refusing to let her play past her bedtime. 
2. When she complains, you always give in
It’s very difficult to stand your ground in the face of a raging child who is determined to get her own way. But if you give in to your kindergartener every time she challenges you, she’ll quickly learn that you don’t mean what you say, and she’ll scream even louder the next time. 
3. Her cupboards are full of unopened toys
Although she is bound to have her favourite toys, there’s no point in giving her so much that she just stuffs unopened packages in her cupboard. That suggests you give her too much, too often. 
4. Others say that your child is spoilt
You probably don’t think you overindulge her, so it might come as a shock to you when your friends suggest that you spoil her and are too soft. But if they have noticed this, maybe you need to step back and consider the comment more seriously. 5. She always expects to get her way
Part of growing up involves learning to think of others. A child who is treated too softly by her parents expects to be in the driver’s seat all the time, even with friends. So she assumes, for example, that she’ll always be first in line at every game. 6. You never carry out your threats of punishment
Positive discipline also involves appropriate punishment, when required.  If you find that you make regular threats but never actually carry them out, then your six-year-old will realise you are a soft touch, and that your warnings are hollow. 7. You allow her to be rude to you
Instead of reprimanding her for antisocial and impolite comments, you accept what she says without challenge, perhaps because you think she is being cute. Bear in mind, though, that although you may be tolerant of her rudeness, others won’t be so accepting of it. 8. She is allowed to break the rules all the time
Some people say that rules are made to be broken, but they are usually made to be observed. That’s why you need to encourage her to follow the limits you have set. A soft parent bends the rules so often that they become meaningless. 9. Every day is a “special occasion” Of course, there are days when normal discipline is interpreted more flexibly, for example, on her birthday, at a large family gathering, or during holidays. But these should be infrequent occurrences, not something that happens several times each week. 10. You buy her something every single shopping trip One of the delights of parenting is buying your child a special present – her reaction is heart-warming. However, these experiences become less important if they happen during every shopping expedition, and she will soon lose interest. (Photos: 123RF.com)

10 signs you’re spoiling your preschooler

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