Asthma in Children - Living With Asthma
You can limit the impact
asthma has on your child's life by learning about asthma and learning how you can help your child follow his or her treatment plan.
Learn about asthma and see your doctor
- Educate yourself and your child about asthma. This
questionnaire can help you and your child see what you
already know about asthma and what you may need to discuss with your
- 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 exercise on a regular basis? 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 where 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
For more information on how to monitor and treat asthma,
- Asthma: Taking Charge of Your Asthma.
- Asthma: Using an Asthma Action Plan.
Monitor peak expiratory flow
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. For more information, see:
- Asthma: Measuring Peak Flow.
Know your child's asthma triggers
trigger is anything that can lead to an asthma attack. If your child can avoid triggers, he or she may reduce
the chance of having an asthma attack. For more
- Asthma: Identifying Your Triggers.
Your child may be allergic to certain
substances (allergens). You may reduce your child's asthma
symptoms by limiting exposure to those substances.