See your child's doctor regularly to
monitor asthma. The frequency of checkups depends
on how your child's asthma is
Bring the asthma plan to each appointment.
Set goals that relate to your child's quality of
life. Decide together what you want to be able to
do. Have symptom-free nights? Be able to play soccer? Feel
secure in knowing you both can deal with an asthma attack? Work with your
doctor to make sure your child's goals are realistic and your child knows how
to reach them.
Follow your child's action plan
The asthma action plan helps you minimize the
long-term effects of asthma and describes which medicines to take every day.
The action plan also contains the steps to handle asthma attacks at home. See an
example of an asthma action plan(What is a PDF document?). Your child also may have an
asthma diary, in which you or your child records
peak expiratory flows, symptoms, and triggers of
asthma attacks. This valuable tool can help your doctor manage your child's
Understand your child's
barriers and solutions. What may prevent your child
from following his or her plan? These may be physical barriers, such as living
far from your doctor or pharmacy. Or your child may have emotional barriers,
such as having undiscussed fears about the condition or unrealistic
expectations. Talk with the doctor about your child's barriers, and work to
It is easy to
underestimate the severity of asthma. Measuring
peak expiratory flow (PEF) is a way to keep track of
asthma symptoms at home and to know when your child's lung function is getting
worse before it drops to a dangerously low level.
Control animal dander and pet allergens. If your pet is a known trigger for your child, you may need
to think about giving your pet away. If that is too hard, taking steps such as
keeping your pet out of your child's bedroom and dusting and vacuuming often
may help your child's asthma.
It also may be necessary to avoid exposure to other types
of triggers that cause asthma symptoms.
Have your child avoid foods that may cause asthma symptoms.
Some children have symptoms after eating processed potatoes, shrimp, or dried
fruit. These foods and liquids contain sulfites, which may cause asthma
If pain relief medicines such as ibuprofen seem to cause asthma symptoms or make them worse, use acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) for pain relief. (Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20
because of the risk of