Your child has asthma, which causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. In the hospital, the doctors and nurses helped your child breathe better.
Most children will still have asthma symptoms after they leave the hospital.
Make sure you know the asthma symptoms to watch out for in your child. See also: Signs of an asthma attack
You should know how to take your child’s peak flow reading and what it means. See also: How to use your peak flow meter
Keep the phone number of your child's doctor or nurse with you.
Triggers may make asthma symptoms worse. Know which triggers make your child’s asthma worse and what to do when this happens.
See also: Stay away from asthma triggers
Know how to prevent or treat asthma that comes on when your child is active. These things might trigger your child’s asthma:
Understand your child’s asthma medicines and how they should be taken. These include:
No one should smoke in your house. This includes you, your visitors, your child’s babysitters, and anyone else who comes to your house.
Smokers should smoke outside and wear a coat. The coat will keep smoke particles from sticking to their clothes. They should leave the coat outside, or away from the child.
Ask people who work at your child’s day care, preschool, school, and anyone else who takes care of your child, if they smoke. If they do, make sure they smoke away from your child.
Children with asthma need a lot of support at school. They may need help from school staff to keep their asthma under control and to be able to do school activities.
There should be an asthma action plan at school. The following people should have a copy of the plan:
Your child should be able to take asthma medicines at school when needed.
School staff should know what things make your child’s asthma worse. These are called "triggers." Your child should be able to go to another location to get away from asthma triggers, if needed.
See also: Asthma and school
Call your doctor or nurse if:
Also call the doctor if your child:
Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Rockville, MD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2007. NIH publications 08-4051.
Lemanske RF Jr, Mauger DT, Sorkness CA, Jackson DJ, Boehmer SJ, Martinez FD, et al. Step-up therapy for children with uncontrolled asthma receiving inhaled corticosteroids. N Engl J Med. 2010 Mar 18;362(11):975-85.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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