Asthma in Children - When to Call a Doctor
If your child has been
asthma and has an
asthma action plan (which tells you what medicines to
take during an
asthma attack), do the following.
Call911or other emergency services immediately if your child has
severe asthma symptoms (in the
red zone of the asthma action plan) and you have followed the plan,
Call your doctor immediately if your
- Has asthma symptoms that get worse and you feel
there is nothing else you can do at home.
- Has had an asthma attack
red zone, and 6 hours after taking the extra medicine the following are
- The child still requires inhaler medicine
every 1 to 3 hours.
- The peak expiratory flow is below 70% of the
personal best measurement.
- Is in the
yellow zone of the asthma action plan and continues to
have a peak expiratory flow below 70% of the personal best measurement in spite
of home treatment using the asthma action plan.
- Is having a first
attack of asthma symptoms, and they include wheezing, chest tightness, and
moderate difficulty breathing.
- Is coughing
up yellow, dark brown, or bloody mucus.
Call your doctor if your child:
- Has asthma symptoms, you do not have an action
plan, and the symptoms are mild (chest tightness, cough, and slight shortness
of breath or tiring easily during exercise).
- Is having symptoms in
the yellow zone almost every day, but inhaler medicine is
providing quick relief.
- Has asthma and his or her PEF has been getting worse for 2 to 3
If your child has not been diagnosed with asthma but has
asthma symptoms, call your doctor and make an appointment for an evaluation.
Watchful waiting is a period of
time during which you and your doctor observe your child's symptoms or
condition without using medical treatment.
If you think your child
has asthma, watchful waiting is not appropriate. See your doctor.
If your child has been getting treatment for 1 to 3 months and is not
improving, ask your doctor whether the child needs to see a specialist (allergist or
Watchful waiting may be
appropriate if your child follows his or her
asthma action plan and stays within the
green zone. Monitor your child's symptoms, and
continue to avoid
Who to See
Health professionals who can diagnose
and treat asthma include:
Your child may need to see a specialist (an
pulmonologist) if he or she: