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Asthma Treatments for Children


How Do I Know When my Child's Asthma Is Well Controlled?

You know your child's asthma is well controlled if, with medication, your child:

  • Lives an active, normal life
  • Has few troublesome symptoms
  • Attends school every day
  • Performs daily activities without difficulty
  • Has few urgent visits to the doctor, emergency room, or hospital for asthma
  • Has few asthma drug side effects

By learning about asthma and how it can be controlled, you take an important step toward managing your child's disease. We encourage you to work closely with your child's asthma care team to learn all you can about asthma, how to avoid triggers, what medications do, and how to correctly give them. With proper care, your child can live free of asthma symptoms and maintain a normal, healthy lifestyle.

Will my Child Outgrow Asthma?

Once a person's airways become sensitive due to asthma, they remain that way for life. However, about 50% of children experience a noticeable decrease in asthma symptoms by the time they become adolescents, therefore appearing to have "outgrown" their asthma. About half of these children will develop symptoms again in their 30s and/or 40s. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whose symptoms will decrease during adolescence and whose will return later in life.

What Do I Do When my Child Has an Asthma Attack?

If your child is showing symptoms of an asthma attack:

  • Give your child his/her reliever (bronchodilator) medicine according to the asthma action plan.
  • Wait five to fifteen minutes. If the symptoms disappear, your child should be able to resume whatever activity he/she was doing. If symptoms persist, follow your child's asthma action plan for further therapy. If your child fails to improve or you are not sure what action to take, call your child's doctor.

Danger signs are severe wheezing, severe coughing, trouble walking or talking, or blue lips or fingernails. Increasing shortness of breath with decreased wheezing is especially dangerous because it means less air is moving in and out of the lungs. If any of these are present go to the emergency department or call 911.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on November 17, 2015
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