Asthma in Children: How Can Pulse Oximetry Helps

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Danielle

Danielle

2020-11-24

For children, asthma can be tough. Having smaller airways compared to their adult counterparts can cause some serious issues. By testing your child’s blood oxygen levels, you can help to manage their asthma. One way is through pulse oximetry. Let’s look at what it is and how you can monitor your kid’s oxygen levels.

What is it?

This is a quick, painless test that measures the level of oxygen saturation, or blood oxygen levels. It tends to be a clip device that is attached to a certain part of your body, with one area being your finger. It can measure how far your body is carrying oxygen.

Pulse oximetry is used to monitor the health of those who have breathing issues such as COPD, anemia, heart issues, asthma, and other issues.

In the case of a child with asthma, pulse oximetry can tell if the child needs help breathing. It can also help monitor your child after they take some medication. This can ensure you that the medicine is working. If the levels change for the better, great. If they don’t change, your child’s doctor may need to adjust the medication.

Asthma In Children

Childhood asthma can be quite serious. This is prevalent in kids who are 5-11, and it can lead to coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing. It can lead to a disinterest in physical activities as well. For some kids with asthma, it can be mild for the most part, but then start acting up in a severe episode.

It’s not always a child who just wheezes a little; it can be severe. In some cases, the child may be unable to speak, and there may be trouble breathing. In some cases, something more than a quick relief inhaler may be needed. If your child has any issues, taking them to a doctor as soon as possible is important.

Pulse Oximeters at Home

Monitoring your child’s oxygen is important, but until recent times, only a doctor could allow you to do so. However, these days, there are oxygen readers you can use on your child at home to monitor their oxygen levels.

If the reading is 95 percent or higher, it is a healthy reading. If there’s anything below that, there may be an issue in your child. Sometimes, the levels can drop a little below average, but if that’s temporary and happens only occasionally, that should not be an issue.

One way you can read your child’s oxygen levels is through an at-home oximeter. Let’s look at two of them and you can decide which is better.

Two Oximeters for Your Child

If you are shopping for an oximeter for your kid, there are several options for you to choose from. Let’s look at a couple.

Traditional Kids’ Oximeter

You can find quite a few oximeters that are like this. They are good if you want to read a child’s oxygen levels. Whether it’s before bed or before doing something that requires intense physical activity, a kids’ oximeter can help you.

With a traditional oximeter, they are a little limited. They clamp on your child’s fingers, which doesn’t hurt usually, but it can be problematic if your child is sensitive. Not to mention, some of them may have inaccurate readings. This especially applies if your child is antsy, which most kids are.

Finally, they tend to use AA or AAA batteries, which can drain quickly. If you need to measure your child’s levels and you don’t have any, that can be an issue. One consideration you should make is to purchase the

Wellue O2 Ring for Kids

For some people, the traditional O2 meter just doesn’t cut it. For one thing, maybe your child’s oxygen levels tend to dip under a certain level every night. For another thing, you may want something more accurate.

One oximeter you can check out is the Wellue O2 Ring, or KidsO2. This is an oximeter that is a ring, meaning it goes over your child’s thumb and stays there until it’s taken off. This ring is meant for kids up to 10 years old, which is the most vulnerable age range for asthma issues.

One feature of the KidsO2 is that it will alert you and your child when the levels are lower than usual. It will send an audio reminder through its app, or on the device itself. You can adjust how loud the alarm is, too.

Unlike other oximeters that tend to be uncomfortable, the KidsO2 Oximeter is quite comfy. For your child, it’ll feel like they’re wearing nothing at all. Kids can be picky about these things, so it’s nice to see an oximeter that works for them.

While this oximeter works with or without a phone, there is an app that you can use to track stats. This app works for your phone, PC, or Mac. It is easy for you to share with your doctor when you are using it. If you don’t want that, the O2 ring does have a built-in memory so you don’t have to sync it to any app. Sometimes, simple is better.

Finally, we should mention that this ring has a rechargeable battery. Some oximeters use traditional AA or AAA batteries, but this has a rechargeable battery built into it that provides up to 16 hours of battery life.

Conclusion

If your child has asthma, monitoring their oxygen levels through an oximeter is important for their health and for your peace of mind. Should the levels drop continuously, it can lead to various health issues that can sometimes have long-term consequences for your kid.

Oximeters can make it easy for you to monitor your child’s oxygen levels and seek assistance should their levels drop below average.

With that said, a home oxygen meter is no substitute to talking to a doctor about any health concerns you may have. Here’s hoping you and your child have a happy and healthy year.

Danielle
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Master of Health Science (MHS) from University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Wellue exclusive guest author

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