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Pediatric Asthma

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease in which the airways become sensitive to allergens (any substance that triggers an allergic reaction). When a child is exposed to certain triggers:

  • The lining of the airways become swollen and inflamed
  • Muscles that surround the airways tighten
  • Production of mucus is increased, leading to mucus plugs

All of these factors will cause the airways to narrow, thus making it difficult for air to go in and out of your child’s lungs, causing the symptoms of asthma.

Pediatric Asthma Care at Children’s National

Children’s National is a focal point of acute asthma care in the Washington, D.C., area. In fact, Children’s takes care of 1 percent of all the pediatric patients seen in emergency departments for acute asthma care every year in the entire nation. We use a patient- and family-focused clinical care pathway for acute care that uses the latest advances in breathing treatments, all delivered by a dedicated team of pediatric nurses, respiratory therapists and emergency medicine physicians. Children’s has an array of services available for patients with acute asthma, ranging from short stay units to intensive care. 

Learn more about asthma in children:

Facts about Asthma

  • Facts about asthma in children
  • What causes asthma in children?
  • What are the symptoms of asthma?
  • Who is at risk for developing asthma?
  • What happens during an asthma attack or asthma exacerbation?
  • How do you assess a child for asthma?
  • What causes childhood asthma?
  • Do children outgrow childhood asthma?
  • What are the triggers that can cause an asthma attack?
  • How to avoid asthma triggers


  • Treatment for asthma
  • Managing asthma
  • Four components of asthma treatment
  • What is a peak flow meter?
  • Why should a peak flow meter be used for asthma?
  • How to use a peak flow meter for managing asthma
  • What are peak flow zones?
  • How is a personal best peak flow measured?
  • When should a peak flow meter be used to manage asthma?
  • How can I obtain a peak flow meter to manage asthma?
  • What are oximeters?
  • What is a spirometer?
Children's Team

Children's Team


Stephen  Teach

Stephen Teach

Director and Principal Investigator, IMPACT DC
Associate Dean, Pediatric Academic Affairs
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Dinesh Pillai

Dinesh Pillai

Co-Director, Severe Asthma Clinic
Investigator, Center for Genetic Medicine Research
Ankoor Shah

Ankoor Shah

Medical Director, IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic
Our Stories

Our Stories


noah sweek teaser img

Noah's Story

After Joshua and Sandra Sweek noticed that their 6-month-old son, Noah, was having breathing problems, they took him to the doctor. There, the baby was diagnosed with suspected asthma.

Jason's Story

Jason's Story

When Jason was born, the Children's National team was already standing by to treat his failing kidneys. He spent his first two months in the NICU, and he has been in and out of Children's National for the past six years.

Cuthbertson family strikes a pose

Heaven, Tiara and Messiah's Story

"My life has become better because I’m more educated and can help others,” Tiara Cuthbertson embraces being an asthma patient advocate.

happy young family stands indoors facing camera

Isaiah's Story

A young boy and his family confront and manage asthma successfully through Dr. Stephen Teach's IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic.

Deion Gladden successfully treated for environmentally-influenced intestinal issues by Dr. Anil Darbari.

Deion's Story

Nineteen years ago, Deion was born prematurely and developed eosinophilic esophagitis and acid reflux, along with failure to thrive. For years, he endured environmentally influenced intestinal issues that he and his family didn't understand until they met Children's National specialists who "never gave up on us."



Severe Asthma Clinic
Children’s National established the Severe Asthma Clinic as a resource for patients and families who have experienced an asthma emergency.
Sickle Cell Pulmonary Clinic

Children's National has one the largest and most active pediatric sickle cell programs in the country.

IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic

IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic is an award-winning pediatric asthma program in Washington, D.C., dedicated to improving asthma care and outcomes for children through clinical care, education, research and advocacy.

Respiratory Care Services

A dedicated team of nearly 100 professionals provides respiratory care services around the clock for outpatients and inpatients at Children's National Health System. Our therapists excel in the field for their technical knowledge as well as their expertise in working with kids. 

Pulmonary Medicine

Children’s National is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals for pulmonology and lung surgery because of our expertise in the field and the quality of care provided to patients and their families.

Critical Care Medicine

With the only pediatric, cardiac and neuro-intensive care units in the immediate Washington, D.C., area, Children’s National Health System is the region’s leading provider of critical care medicine for seriously ill and injured infants and children.

Primary Care in Southeast DC

Primary Care in Southeast DC - tv clip

Candice Dawes, MD, appeared on WUSA 9 to discuss how Children's National is working to improve the quality of and access to pediatric primary care in Southeast DC.

Watch Video

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