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Pediatric Asthma Care
What is childhood asthma?
Asthma is a condition that affects a child’s breathing by inflamed bronchial tubes within the lungs, making it harder for air to get through.
Inflamed airways produce extra mucus, which can affect a child’s breathing quality.
Those with asthma may wheeze, cough and feel tightness in the chest.
Treating and preventing asthma in children
Though there’s no cure for asthma, it can be managed by your, your child and your child’s doctor.
Many children with asthma need two types of medicine: controllers, also called everyday medicines, and quick relievers.
Everyday controller medicines
Controller medicines help keep airway swelling closed and must be used daily, even when the child is feeling well, to work best. These everyday controllers aren’t helpful during an asthma attack but can help prevent asthma attacks.
Quick-reliever medicines (also called rescue medicines) help kids who are having trouble breathing. These medicines make it easier to breathe during an asthma attack and also can help with less serious problems such as coughing or wheezing caused by a cold.
Asthma attacks happen less often when triggers can be avoided. Triggers are things that cause people with asthma to cough or wheeze.
Some common asthma triggers are:
- Cigarette smoke. People with asthma should never be around cigarette smoke. No one should smoke in the child’s house or the car in which the child rides. People smoking outside the house should wear a jacket they can leave outside.
- Colds and illnesses
- Season changes
- Weather changes
- Cold air
- Hard play or exercise. If your child has trouble breathing while playing, call your doctor and ask to talk about asthma control.
Asthma control goals
- No coughing or wheezing
- Sleeping through the night
- Can do regular activities
- Using quick reliever medicine no more than two times a week
Asthma care at Niswonger Children’s
An important aspect of managing children’s asthma is developing an asthma action plan.
That’s why every child admitted to Niswonger Children’s for asthma receives an individual action plan, which will address:
- Follow-up care after release from the hospital
- Your child’s specific asthma triggers, such as dust, pollen, weather changes or cigarette smoke
- How and when to administer asthma medications
Our goal is for children with asthma to never have to come into the hospital. We want their families to be able to manage the condition on their own with the help of their doctors.
If you think your child might have asthma – or you have questions about managing asthma in kids – please discuss it with your pediatrician first.