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Asthma in Children - Exams and Tests

Regular checkups

You need to monitor your child's condition and have regular checkups to keep asthma under control and to review and possibly update your child's asthma action plan. The frequency of checkups depends on how your child's asthma is classified. Checkups are recommended:

  • About every 6 to 12 months for children who have intermittent or mild persistent asthma that has been under control for at least 3 months.
  • Every 3 to 4 months for children who have moderate persistent asthma.
  • Every 1 to 2 months for children who have uncontrolled or severe persistent asthma.

During checkups, your doctor will ask you and your child whether symptoms and peak expiratory flow have held steady, improved, or become worse. He or she will also ask about asthma attacks during exercise, at night, or after laughing or crying hard. You and your child track this information in an asthma diary.

Your child may be asked to bring the peak expiratory flow meter and inhaler to an appointment so your doctor can see how he or she uses them. Based on the results, your child's asthma category may change. And your doctor may change the medicines your child uses or how much medicine he or she uses.

Tests to identify triggers

If your child has persistent asthma and takes medicine every day, your doctor may ask about his or her exposure to substances (allergens) that cause an allergic reaction. For more information about tests for allergies, see the topic Allergic Rhinitis.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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