Asthma in Children - Treatment Overview
Go to checkups
Your child needs to
monitor his or her asthma and have regular checkups to
keep asthma under control and to ensure the right treatment. The frequency of
checkups depends on how your child's asthma is
Monitor peak flow
It is easy to underestimate the severity of your child's symptoms.
You may not notice them until his or her lungs are functioning at 50% of the
personal best peak expiratory flow (PEF).
PEF is a way to keep track of asthma symptoms at home. It can help you and your
child know when lung function is becoming worse before it drops to a
dangerously low level. This is done with a
peak flow meter.
- Asthma: Measuring Peak Flow
triggers increases symptoms. Try to avoid situations
that expose your child to irritants (such as smoke or air pollution) or
substances (such as
animal dander) to which he or she may be allergic. Using an air filter machine in your house reduces smoke and other particles in the air, which can help prevent asthma symptoms in children.9
- Asthma: Identifying Your Triggers
Get help for special concerns
things to think about in treating asthma include:
- Managing exercise-induced asthma. Exercise often
causes asthma symptoms. Steps you and your child can take to reduce the risk of
this include using medicine immediately before exercising.
- Managing asthma before surgery. Children with moderate to severe asthma are at
higher risk of having problems during and after surgery than children who do
not have asthma. Before any surgery is done, make sure your child's surgeon knows that your child has asthma.
- Taking care of other health problems. If your child also has other health problems, such as
inflammation and infection of the sinuses (sinusitis) or
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), he or she will
need treatment for those conditions.
Know what to do if asthma gets worse
asthma is not improving, talk with your doctor
- Review your child's asthma diary to see if he or she has a new
or previously unidentified
trigger, such as
animal dander. Talk to your doctor about how best to
- Review your child's medicines to be sure he or she
is using the right ones and using them correctly.
- Review your child's
asthma action plan to be sure it is still right
for his or her condition.
- Find out whether your child has a
condition with symptoms similar to asthma, such as
If your child's medicine is not working to control airway
inflammation, your doctor will first check to see whether your child is using
inhaler correctly. If your child is using it
correctly, your doctor may increase the dosage, switch to another medicine, or
add a medicine to the existing treatment.
child's asthma does not improve with treatment, he or she may require more treatment, including larger doses of corticosteroids or other
medicines. An asthma specialist typically prescribes these medicines.