What Parents Need to Know

Poorly controlled and undiagnosed asthma in small children can result in trips to the emergency room, hospital stays, missed workdays for parents and suffering that small children are often unable to express.  It’s important that a child with asthma receive proper treatment.

Is your child at risk?  His or her doctor may prescribe two types of medicines:

  • Quick-relief.  Any child who has asthma needs a quick-relief medicine to treat the coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath that occur with symptoms or an asthma attack.  This medicine (typically an inhaler) should be with the child at all times for use at the first sign of symptoms.
  • Long-term control. This type of medicine is needed by some children to treat inflammation of the airways.  It is taken daily to help prevent asthma symptoms and attacks.

Your child can take both medicines using an inhaler with a device called either a holding chamber or a spacer (which helps to ensure that all the medication reaches the lungs), or through a nebulizer, a machine that includes compressor tubing and a mask to help deliver the medication.  Your child’s doctor, nurse or pharmacist can teach you how to use both, so you can determine what works best.

Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology