Asthma -- Child
|Inflamed Bronchial Tube|
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- Respiratory infection—more common in younger children
- Exercise, especially in cold air—more common in teenagers
Substances that cause allergies include:
- Animal dander
- Food, rarely
- Sinus infections
- Tobacco smoke or other chemical irritants
- Sudden change in weather
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble breathing
- Chest tightness
- Complaints of chest pain or odd sensations
- Difficulty during feeding in infants
- Trouble sleeping
- Avoiding exercise or sports
- Spirometry test
- Challenge test
- Medication trial
- Know what your child is allergic to and avoid known triggers. These may include certain pollen, dust, foods, and air pollution.
- Avoid outside activities if there are high levels of air pollution, pollen, or mold spores.
- Keep your windows closed during seasons with high pollen or mold spores. Air conditioning may help filter out allergens during warm seasons.
- Consider getting a portable HEPA unit air cleaner to use in sleeping areas, for your heating/cooling system, and your vacuum cleaner.
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke.
- Have proper heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in your home.
- Keep the humidity down in your house. This may help prevent the growth of mold.
Medications used to treat an asthma attack:
Bronchodilators used in nebulizers and inhalers—These are sometimes called rescue medications and are used to quickly treat breathing difficulties.
- Corticosteroids given by mouth may be used for short times to control swelling
- Bronchodilators used in nebulizers and inhalers—These are sometimes called rescue medications and are used to quickly treat breathing difficulties.
- Inhaled corticosteroids
- Long-acting beta agonist—in most cases, prescribed with an inhaled corticosteroid
- Leukotriene modifiers such as montelukast and zafirlukast
- Cromolyn or nedocromil
- Zileuton, a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor
- Combination medications that include a long-acting bronchodilator and an inhaled corticosteroid
- Avoid strong chemicals or odors like perfume.
- Avoid challenging outdoor exercise during days with high air pollution, a high pollen count, or a high ozone level.
- If cold weather triggers your asthma, avoid strenuous activities in cold weather. If you must, use a scarf or mask to warm the air before it reaches your lungs.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home.
- Don't use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, including unvented gas fireplaces.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology http://www.aaaai.org
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org
Asthma Society of Canada http://www.asthma.ca
Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Asthma in children: complications. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated June 10, 2013. Accessed September 9, 2013.
Asthma overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/patients/allergic%5Fconditions/pediatric%5Fasthma/diagnosis%5Fasthma.stm. Accessed September 9, 2013.
SW Stoloff. The current and future state of asthma treatment. Clinical Cornerstone: The Current and Future State of Asthma Treatment. 2008; 8(4):26-43.
What causes asthma? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Asthma/Asthma%5FCauses.html. Accessed September 9, 2013.
10/9/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mireku N, Wang Y, et al. Changes in weather and the effects on pediatric asthma exacerbations. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2009;(3):220-224.
10/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Bernard A, Nickmilder M, et al. Impact of chlorinated swimming pool attendance on the respiratory health of adolescents. Pediatrics. 2009;124(4):1110-1118.
8/23/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Beasley R, Clayton T, et al. Acetaminophen use and risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents: ISAAC phase three. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Aug 13 early online.
10/8/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Ducharme F, Chroinin M, et al. Addition of long-acting beta2-agonists to inhaled corticosteroids versus same dose inhaled corticosteroids for chronic asthma in adults and children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(5):CD005535.
5/4/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Woodfine L, Neal RD, et al. Enhancing ventilation in homes of children with asthma: pragmatic randomised controlled trial. Br J Gen Pract. 2011;61(592):e724-732.
8/27/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Kim JM, Lin SY, et al. Allergen-specific immunotherapy for pediatric asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis: a systematic review. Pediatrics. 2013 Jun;131(6):1155-67.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -