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Peak flow is how much air your child breathes out when he or she tries hardest. Your child can measure peak flow with a peak flow meter, an inexpensive device that can be used at home.
It's good to know how well your child's lungs are working. One way to do this is by checking your child's peak flow with a peak flow meter. The peak flow can tell you if your child's asthma is staying the same, getting better, or getting worse.
Checking peak flow helps your child control his or her asthma. Then asthma won't control your child.
Before you start, have your child remove any gum or food from his or her mouth.
Be sure the gauge of the peak flow meter is set to 0 or the lowest number on the meter.
Some meters don't have a separate mouthpiece.
Have your child take a deep breath before using the inhaler.
Your child's tongue should be away from the mouthpiece.
A hard and fast breath usually makes a "huff" sound.
This is your child's peak flow.
Write down the highest of the three numbers in your child's asthma diary.
If your child coughs or makes a mistake during the testing, redo the test.
An asthma action plan helps you and your child deal with asthma. You can work with the doctor to make an asthma action plan. The plan will include peak flow and your child's asthma symptoms.
The peak flow can help you find out what asthma zone your child is in. You do this by comparing your child's current peak flow to their personal best peak flow. Your child's personal best is the highest peak flow recorded over a 2- to 3-week period when the asthma is under control.
Each meter is a little different. If you change meters, you will need to find your child's asthma zones using the new meter.
Follow-up care is a key part of your 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.
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Current as of: February 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
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