Asthma is a long-term condition that affects your child's breathing. It causes the airways that lead to the lungs to swell. During an asthma attack, the airways swell and narrow. This makes it hard to breathe. Your child may wheeze or cough. If your child has a bad attack, he or she may need emergency care.
There are two things to do to treat your child's asthma.
You and your doctor can make an asthma action plan. It tells you what medicines your child needs to take every day to control asthma symptoms. And it tells you what to do if your child has an asthma attack. Following your child's asthma action plan can help prevent and treat attacks.
When you keep asthma under control, you can prevent severe attacks and lasting damage to your child's airways. You need to treat your child's asthma even when your child is not having symptoms. Although asthma is a lifelong problem, your child can still lead a full and active life.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Controller medicines manage swelling in your child's lungs. They also help prevent asthma attacks. Have your child take controller medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think your child is having a problem with his or her medicine.
Use your child's asthma action plan when your child has an attack. The quick-relief medicine will stop an asthma attack. It relaxes the muscles that get tight around the airways. If your doctor prescribed corticosteroid pills, give them to your child as directed. They may take hours to work, but they may shorten the attack and help your child breathe better.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of:
August 18, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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