Spring 2009

Living with Asthma


Almost 11 percent of school-age children have asthma. Millions of missed school days and parental workdays are attributed to pediatric asthma. Children with asthma have airways that are overly sensitive to certain asthma triggers, which differ from child to child. Some common triggers are exercise, allergies, viral infections and smoke. To ensure this disease doesn’t impact these children’s activities, the American Lung Association encourages parents to follow this simple checklist:

  • Schedule an asthma check-up. Even if your child's condition is well-controlled, meeting with your pediatrician is also an opportunity to evaluate medications and physical activity restrictions.
  • Confirm medicines are up-to-date and fill prescriptions. Ensure your child's asthma prescriptions have sufficient refills available and have not expired.
  • Have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan details personal information about the child's asthma symptoms, medications and any physical activity limitations. It provides specific instructions about what to do if an asthma attack does not improve with prescribed medication. Provide this information to your child’s teachers, the school nurse and the front office administrators.
  • Meet with your child's school nurse and teachers. Discuss your child's specific triggers and typical symptoms.
  • Know your school’s asthma emergency plan. Ensure that your child's school knows how to contact you in case of an emergency.
For more information about asthma in children, visit the American Lung Association’s Web site.

Good Health for Kids is produced by Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.