About Us
Our Services
New Patients
Forms & Policies
Medical Resources
   Medical Conditions
      Abdominal Pain, Recurrent
      Acute Ear Infections and Your Child
      Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
      Acute Otitis Media
      Acute Strep Throat
      ADHD and Your School-aged Child
      Allergies in Children
      Anemia and Your Young Child
      Anesthesia and Your Child
      Ankle Sprain Treatment (Care of the Young Athlete)
      Antibiotics and Your Child
      Asthma and Exercise (Care of the Young Athlete)
      Asthma and Your Child
      Asthma Triggers
      Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
      Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
      Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
      Breast Enlargement, Premature
      Breath-Holding Spells
      Bronchiolitis and Your Young Child
      Care of the Premature Infant
      Celiac Disease
      Chickenpox Immunization
      Chickenpox Vaccine, The
      Coarctation of the Aorta
      Common Childhood Infections
      Congenital Hip Dysplasia
      Constipation and Your Child
      Coxsackie A16
      Croup and Your Young Child
      Croup: When Your Child Needs Hospital Care
      Crying and Your Baby: How to Calm a Fussy or Colicky Baby
      Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
      Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip
      Diabetic Mother, Infant of
      Diaper Rash
      Diarrhea and Dehydration
      Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Water Loss (Dehydration)
      Ear Infection
      Ear Infections
      Eating Disorders
      Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
      Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
      Enlarged Lymph Nodes
      Erythema Multiforme
      Eye Problems Related to Headache
      Febrile Seizure
      Febrile Seizures
      Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
      Fever and Your Child
      Fifth Disease
      Fifth Disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
      Flu, The
      Food Allergies and Your Child
      Food Born Illnesses
      Fragile X Syndrome
      Gastroenteritis, Viral
      Gastroesophageal Reflux
      Guide to Children's Dental Health, A
      Hand Foot and Mouth
      Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease
      Head Lice
      Headache Related to Eye Problems
      Hepatitis A
      Hepatitis A Immunization
      Hepatitis B
      Hepatitis B Immunization
      Hepatitis C
      Hib Immunization
      High Blood Pressure
      Hip Dysplasia (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip)
      How to Take Your Child's Temperature?
      Imaging Tests: A Look Inside Your Child's Body
      Infant of a Diabetic Mother
      Infectious Mononucleosis
      Influenza Immunization
      Inhaled and Intranasal Corticosteroids and Your Child
      Kawasaki Syndrome
      Language Development in Young Children
      Lead Poisoning
      Learning Disabilities: What Parents Need to Know
      Lung Hypoplasia
      Lyme Disease
      Mental Health
      Middle Ear Fluid and Your Child
      MMR Immunization
      Molluscum Contagiosum
      Obesity in Childhood
      Osgood-Schlatter Disease
      Otitis Media, Acute
      Pneumococcal Conjugate Immunization
      Pneumonia and Your Child
      Polio Immunization
      Premature Thelarche
      Prematurity, Retinopathy of
      Pulmonary Hypertension
      Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH & SPH)
      Retinopathy of Prematurity
      Rheumatic Fever, Acute
      Ringworm (Tinea)
      Rubella (German Measles)
      Safety of Blood Transfusions
      Seasonal Influenza (Flu) 2014–2015
      Separation Anxiety
      Sinusitis and Your Child
      Sleep Apnea and Your Child
      Speech Development in Young Children
      Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
      Strep Throat
      Strep Throat-Acute
      Strep Throat-Recurrent
      Stuttering and the Young Child
      Swine Flu
      Swine Flu (H1N1) FAQ
      Swine Flu (H1N1) Vaccine
      Swollen Glands
      Tear Duct, Blocked
      Tetralogy of Fallot
      Thyroid Problems
      Tinea (ringworm infection)
      Tonsils and the Adenoid
      Toxic Shock Syndrome
      Turner Syndrome
      Type 2 Diabetes: Tips for Healthy Living
      Underdeveloped Lungs
      Urinary Tract Infection
      Urinary Tract Infections in Young Children
      Varicella or Chickenpox
      Varivax Immunization
      Vesicoureteral Reflux
      What Is ADHD?
      What is Clean Intermittent Catheterization?
      Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
      Wilson Disease
   What's Going Around?
Contact Us

Practice News

Anywhere Family Practice is thrilled to announce the addition of Dr. Julie Johnson to our team.
We will be transitioning to a new patient portal in April. Watch for new updates on this website!

Is Your Child Sick?TM


Are You Sick?


Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article

Asthma (AZZ-muh) is a disease of the breathing tubes that carry air to the lungs. The linings of the tubes swell, and they fill up with mucus (MYOO-kus). This is called inflammation (in-fluh-MAY-shun). It makes the tubes get narrow. This makes it hard to breathe.

Asthma can cause sickness, hospital stays, and even death. But children with asthma can live normal lives.

Signs of Asthma

Symptoms of asthma can be different for each person. They can come quickly or start slowly and they can change. Symptoms may include:

  • Coughing.

  • Trouble breathing.

  • Wheezing *.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Tightness in the chest.

  • Trouble exercising.

What to Do for Asthma

  • There is no cure for asthma. But you can help control it. Your child will likely need one or more medicines. Using them right is very important.

  • Make a plan for what to do for your child's asthma, wherever he or she is.

  • Keep your child away from things that can make asthma worse (triggers).

Always Call the Doctor If…

  • Your child has trouble breathing.

  • Your child coughs, wheezes, or has a tight feeling in the chest more than once or twice a week.

Using Medicines

There are 2 kinds of asthma medicines:

  • Quick-relief (rescue) medicines

  • Controller medicines

Always use a spacer for medicines that are breathed in through the mouth. A spacer is a tube that you put between the medicine and the mouth. It helps get the medicine into the lungs (see picture above).

Quick-Relief Medicines

They work fast to open airways (the breathing tubes or bronchioles). They relieve tightness in the chest, wheezing, and feeling out of breath. They can also be used to prevent an asthma attack when exercising. They are called bronchodilators*.

The most common quick-relief medicine is albuterol (al-BYOO-der-all). It comes in a form that can be breathed in.

If your child has a bad asthma attack, your child's doctor may also prescribe steroids* to be taken by mouth for 3 to 5 days.

Controller Medicines

Controller medicines are used every day. They don't take away symptoms. Instead, they keep them from happening. Some can be breathed in, and some can be swallowed.

Your child should take a controller medicine if he or she:

  • Has asthma symptoms more than twice a week OR

  • Wakes up with asthma symptoms more than twice a month.

There are several kinds of controller medicines:

  • Steroids to breathe in

  • Long-acting bronchodilators to breathe in

  • Both steroids and bronchodilators in the same medicine to breathe in

  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists * to take by mouth

  • Other inhaled medicines like cromolyn*

Make an Asthma Action Plan

Your child's doctor can help you write an asthma action plan*. This lists:

  • What medicines your child should take and how often.

  • What to do if the symptoms get worse.

  • When to get medical help right away.

You can check your action plan when you are not sure what to do for your child's symptoms.

Give a copy of the action plan to your child's school so they know what to do too.

what Are Asthma Triggers?

Things that cause asthma attacks or make asthma worse are called triggers. Common asthma triggers include:

  • Tobacco and other smoke

  • Dust and mold

  • Cats and dogs

  • Cockroaches

  • Plant pollen (PAH-lin)

  • Sinus (SYE-nis) and lung infections

Using a Peak Flow Meter

This is a tool that measures how fast a person can blow air out of the lungs. The peak flow meter has 3 zones—green, yellow, and red—like a traffic light. The different colors help show if your child's asthma is doing well or getting worse. Ask your child's doctor for help setting the green, yellow, and red zones for your child:

  • Green—Asthma is under good control.

  • Yellow—Your child may be having some asthma symptoms and may need to change medicines. Talk with the doctor and check your child's asthma action plan.

  • Red—This is an emergency. Check your child's asthma action plan or call the doctor right away.

When to Use the Peak Flow Meter

  • Each morning before taking any medicines.

  • If symptoms get worse, or your child has an asthma attack. Check the peak flow before and after using medicines. This will help you see if the medicines are working.

  • At other times if your child's doctor suggests.

Keep a record of your child's peak flow numbers each day. Bring this record with you when you visit your child's doctor.

When Your Child Is Away From Home

Children's asthma symptoms need to be controlled wherever they are.

Talk with teachers, the school nurse, office staff, and coaches. They need to know your child has asthma, what medicines your child takes, and what to do in an emergency. They need copies of your child's asthma action plan.

They also have forms for you to fill out and return:

  • A medicine permission form from your child's doctor so your child can take medicines at school if needed

  • A release form signed by a parent so the school nurse can talk with your child's doctor if needed

Copyright © 2008