|Help Kids Control Their Asthma
June 4, 2009
Nearly nine million children in the United States are living with asthma, a disease that affects the lungs and makes it hard to breathe. Asthma can start at any age and affects children of every race. There is no cure for asthma, but people with asthma can have active lives when they learn to control it.
If your child has asthma, there is a lot that you and your child can do to control your child’s asthma and keep him or her healthy. Follow these tips from the Asthma: A Guide for Patients and Families guide.
Visit Your Child’s Primary Care Provider Every Three Months
Proper asthma care involves your child seeing his or her doctor at least every three months to check on the asthma and update his or her asthma action plan. The asthma action plan is like a map to help you care for your child’s asthma.
Follow Your Primary Care Provider’s Medication Instructions
Your child’s primary care provider may prescribe two types of medicine. Make sure your child takes the medicine as instructed by his or her primary care provider.
- Preventive or controller medicine that may be taken every day to keep airways healthy and prevent asthma from getting worse.
- Quick-relief or rescue medicine to stop asthma attacks when they start. Everyone needs this.
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Know Your Child’s Triggers
Many things can start asthma attacks. If you understand and reduce your child’s triggers, you can help control his or her asthma.
Indoor triggers include:
- Cigarette or marijuana smoke
- Mold and mildew
- Animals with fur
- Strong smells and sprays
- Dust in beds and pillows
- Dust from sweeping
Outdoor triggers include:
- Changes in the weather
- Pollen from trees and flowers
- Air pollution
Other triggers include:
- Upper respiratory infections (“colds”)
- Running, sports, and other exercise
- Certain foods
- Laughing hard, crying, or yelling
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Recognize the Signs of an Attack
You and your child need to know the signs that an asthma attack is starting so that your child can act fast and use a rescue medicine.
Some signs include:
- A low number on the peak flow meter
- Tight chest, heart beating fast
- Stomach aching, vomiting
- Feeling tired, being quiet, laying around
- Feeling dizzy, headache
Get emergency help from a doctor if you see any of these asthma danger signs in your child:
- The quick-relief medicine does not help for very long or it does not help at all
- It is hard to talk and breath
- The nose opens wide when he or she breathes
- Skin is pulled in around the ribs and neck when he or she breathes
- A cough is strong or tight, especially if he or she vomits afterward
- The breathing rate or heartbeat is very fast
- It is hard to walk
- Your child is too tired to play
- Lips or fingernails turn gray or blue
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Help Children’s National and Kohl’s Improve Children’s Health
Kohl’s Community Asthma Program and Children’s National Medical Center are providing asthma prevention and treatment education to children in the District of Columbia.
Purchase exclusive books and stuffed animals at area Kohl’s. All for just $5 each – and 100 percent of the net profits benefit health and educational opportunities for children nationwide, including Children’s National. Kohl’s dedicates its charitable efforts to improving children’s health and education opportunities for children.