For Parents: Asthma and Your Child

Understanding Your Child's Asthma

All About Asthma in Children
What causes asthma? It may be partially inherited, but many other environmental, infectious, and chemical factors are involved.
Asthma and Children
How asthma will affect a child throughout his/her lifetime varies, depending on the child.
Anatomy of the Respiratory System
The respiratory system includes the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and lungs.
Asthma: First Doctor Visit for Your Child
You may be wondering what questions the provider will ask or what tests and exams your child will need.
Levels of Asthma
Asthma levels are classified in "steps," because each child may step up or step down to different levels at any time.

Controlling Asthma Triggers

Asthma Attack Triggers
Your child's asthma may be triggered by a number of things: pollen, molds, certain foods, strong odors, or even exercise.
Avoiding Asthma Triggers
From bed coverings to air purifiers, from pets to secondhand smoke, here are ideas to keep your child's asthma triggers under control.
During an Asthma Attack
Your child's breathing will become harder and may hurt. You may hear a wheezing or whistling sound, which is typical of asthma.
Ozone and Your Child's Asthma
Children with asthma may experience more severe symptoms than adults or experience symptoms at lower ozone concentrations. They are also more likely to experience an asthma attack when ozone levels are high.

Managing Your Child's Asthma

Management and Treatment of Asthma
Your child's asthma can be controlled with prescription medications that may help to prevent or relieve symptoms.
Help Your Teen Take Charge of Asthma
Having asthma isn’t easy, and for most kids, neither is being a teen. Here are some common teen issues and suggestions for easing your child’s concerns.
Hand-Held Nebulizer Treatments
Breathing the medication straight into the lungs works better and faster than taking the medication by mouth. Nebulizer treatments take about 15 to 20 minutes.
In Children: Corticosteroids for Asthma
Daily inhaled corticosteroids are a key part of the treatment for children with mild, moderate or severe persistent asthma. "The possible side effects of medication are far less important than the known effects of untreated asthma," says William E. Berger, M.D., president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Peak Flow Meters/Oximeters/Spirometers
These three types of tools are used to measure how well your child's asthma is under control.
Asthma Medications
Your child's health care provider will prescribe asthma medications based on your child's age, severity of symptoms, and his or her ability to take inhaled medications.
Learning to Live with Childhood Asthma
If an attack becomes severe, the person may have to go to the hospital. If you have a child with asthma, you know how hard it is to watch your child struggle during an asthma attack.

Special Concerns

Score an A+ with Your Child’s Asthma Action Plan
The best way to prepare the school staff to meet your child’s needs is to develop an asthma action plan.
Asthma: Dealing with Your Child's School
Research shows that informed, supportive teachers and staff can play a big role in helping students manage their asthma.
Asthma on Campus
College can pose challenges for the student with asthma. New and unfamiliar living quarters, school and social stresses, and other factors can trigger a flare-up.
What Is Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm?
Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) used to be called exercise-induced asthma. The term bronchospasm means tightening and narrowing of the tubes that bring air in and out of your lungs.