Few things are as heartbreaking as watching a child with out-of-control allergies and asthma symptoms try to have fun outside with his or her friends.

Children are at their parent’s mercy, and for a sick child, a lazy parent who doesn’t take the time to learn about their son’s or daughter’s disease can mean the difference between life and death.

A child is also more likely to get desperate in the middle of an asthma attack, or worry more, or to suffer ridicule and be marginalized by their peers for having asthma or for carrying an inhaler. I’ve been through all of that. These are challenges that have to be overcome, for the good of the child and yours as well.

If you can stimulate your son or daughter to take an interest in their condition, to own their symptom and make it theirs, and take an active part in their treatment… the difference will be dramatic. No more forcing asthma medicines down, no more fighting every morning, no more frantic runs for treatment every time something or other aggravates them and triggers an attack.

Simply talk to your child. Tell them how important it is for them to take control of their own allergies. Explain what could happen if they don’t take their medication. We all have a tendency to not want to talk about those things, but… is it not worth a little discomfort to see your child grow in control of themselves and their asthma management, and to be able to go out and run and exercise, to play and laugh in the grass with the others? I think so.

Most of all, don’t get impatient. It is very common for a very young child to completely reject their medicines, their inhaler, their medication, and their treatment in general. Don’t lose your patience with them… My parents never did with me, and I thank them with all my heart for that today.

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