Kids' Asthma Out of Control
4 Out of 5 Kids With Asthma Don't Control Symptoms
WebMD News Archive
Pets and Asthma
Does this mean Fluffy and Fido must find a new home?
"That is a tough question," Halterman admits. "Some children are
clearly allergic to pets. They would benefit. But others might not, so it takes
treatment planning with your doctor."
Pediatric allergist Lisa Kobrynski, MD, MPH, assistant professor of
pediatrics at Atlanta's Emory University, agrees that the pet discussion is
always a hard one for families of children with asthma.
One solution, she suggests, is keeping the pets outside. Some families try
frequent washing, but Kobrynski notes that this means washing a dog or cat at
least three times a week. And new research suggests that some pet allergens
aren't from pet dander, but from pet saliva.
An allergist, Kobrynski suggests, can give a child a skin or blood test to
see exactly which triggers are most important to avoid.
Asthma Control Key: Frequent Evaluation
Controlling a child's asthma, Halterman and Kobrynski stress, is not a
simple matter. It requires collaboration between parents, the child, and the
The first step is reporting the child's symptoms to a doctor. The doctor
then develops an individualized asthma-control plan, which often includes daily
use of an inhaler and may require oral medications, too. Daily use of these
drugs is essential. But taking medicine isn't the end of the job.
Avoiding asthma triggers is an essential component of asthma control. And
asthma triggers are tricky -- new ones can pop up, and old ones may or may not
"Asthma is not a static disease -- it changes over time," Kobrynski
says. "Kids may develop new triggers, and their asthma may change -- it may
become more severe. At least two or three times a year, they need re-evaluation
to see if their treatment plan is adequate."