Introduction: A few studies have already investigated preschool children with asthma during the pandemic. The purpose of this research was to investigate how preschool children with asthma were affected by the precautionary measures adopted during the pandemic.
Methods: Preschool children with asthma aged 18-60 months evaluated in our clinic in March-May 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, were included in the study. The lockdown continued during March, April, and May 2020. The questionnaires and asthma symptom control tests for preschool children with asthma in 2019 and 2020 were then evaluated.
Results: Sixty-three preschool children with asthma, 37 boys and 26 girls, aged 18-60 months (median 47) were included in the study. The median number of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), and the use of antibiotics were significantly lower in 2020 than 2019 (p<.01). The median numbers of the pediatric emergency department (PED) visits and hospitalizations were also lower in 2020 than in 2019 (p<.05). In 2019, 31 children with asthma were well controlled, 28 were partly controlled, and 4 were uncontrolled, compared to 58 well controlled, four partly controlled, and one uncontrolled in 2020 (p<.01).
Conclusions: Preschool children with asthma have been positively affected in terms of PED admission, hospitalization, and asthma symptom control in association with the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown measures. This study revealed that wheezing decreased significantly in the absence of respiratory infection in preschool children with asthma. Namely, fewer infections meant less wheezing.
Keywords: Pandemic; emergency department visit; hospitalization; rescue medication; wheezing.