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Asthma is a lung disease that makes it hard for your child to breathe. It causes the airways that lead to the lungs to swell and get inflamed.
Some children have breathing problems only at certain times, like during allergy season, or when they get a cold, or when they exercise. Others have breathing problems a lot of the time.
When asthma symptoms suddenly get worse (or flare up), the airways tighten and get narrower. These flare-ups are also called asthma attacks or exacerbations (say "ig-ZAS-ur-BAY-shuns").
Treatment can help your child feel and breathe better and help keep your child's lungs healthy. Many children with asthma play sports and live healthy, active lives.
When your child has asthma, they may:
Your child may start having symptoms soon after being around things like pollen or cigarette smoke, vapour, or when they feel strong emotions. Or symptoms may start several hours later. It can make it harder to know what things cause your child's symptoms.
Symptoms of asthma can be mild or severe. Your child may have symptoms every day, just now and then, or somewhere in between.
Many children have symptoms that get worse at night. These include a cough and shortness of breath.
There are things you can help your child do to manage asthma.
Make sure that your child:
Help your child to:
This is a written plan that will help your child manage asthma every day and know what to do during an asthma attack. If your child doesn't have an Asthma Action Plan, work with your doctor to make one.
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:
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Adaptation Date: 5/5/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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