Apr 19, 2016, 9:30:30 AM CDT Dec 8, 2020, 12:06:34 PM CST

7 common asthma questions parents ask

If you worry that your child might have asthma, or your child has recently been diagnosed, you probably have plenty of questions for the doctor.

Boy using inhaler for asthma in field Boy using inhaler for asthma in field

To make the most of your visit with the pediatrician, make a list of those questions and bring them with you. Here are seven questions to ask about asthma:

1. What does it mean that my child has asthma?

Your doctor can explain exactly what asthma is and give you more information about how severe your child's asthma is. Not every child's asthma is the same, and asthma in children is often different than it is for adults. Don't be afraid to ask for more details on the disease, and how that disease specifically affects your child.

2. What will my child's treatment be?

Treating asthma is different for every child, and your child's asthma treatment will be tailored for their medical needs and lifestyle. This is where an asthma action plan is a must-have tool. This plan, which you'll write with your child's doctor, provides a detailed guide to your child's asthma treatment and how to control asthma symptoms. It includes your child's daily treatment, along with how to provide quick relief in an emergency.

3. Do we need to make any changes at home?

Children with asthma may have a flare up when exposed to specific triggers. These may include chemicals, exercise and even the weather or air pollution. Some common triggers may be in your home, like dust mites or pet fur. Once you and your doctor have identified your child's triggers, you can work on making your home trigger-free. This asthma triggers checklist outlines steps you can take to remove asthma triggers from your home.

4. Who else needs to know my child has asthma?

Anyone who takes care of your child should know that your child has asthma. That includes teachers, coaches, the school nurse and babysitters. The easiest way to share the information they need is to show them your child's asthma action plan and give them a copy to keep. You can also show them how to use your child's medications. With this information in hand, your child's caregivers can make better decisions if they need to help your child through an asthma attack.

5. How should I talk to my child about asthma?

Helping your child to understand asthma will give you peace of mind and make it easier to manage the condition. Explain asthma in language that is appropriate for the child's age and give your child a chance to ask questions. You'll also want to talk about medications and what to do during an asthma attack. If you're not sure where to start, ask your child's doctor for suggestions and resources, or ask the doctor to lead the conversation.

6. What are the signs of an asthma attack or medical emergency?

An asthma attack is scary for your child, and for you and other caregivers. Knowing the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack will help you feel better prepared. Your child's asthma action plan also includes directions on what to do when your child is in the "Red Zone." Ask your doctor to review this section thoroughly with you, and make sure that you feel prepared for an emergency.

7. What other asthma resources are available?

You and your child don't have to face asthma alone. Your child's doctor can help you connect with a support group, and plenty of other resources are available. You'll find an asthma action plan, trigger worksheet, one family's asthma story and much more on our Asthma Education and Resources page.

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