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Asthma - child - discharge

Pediatric asthma - discharge; Wheezing - discharge; Reactive airway disease - discharge

Your child has asthma, which causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. Now that your child is going home from the hospital, follow the health care provider's instructions on how to care for your child. Use the information below as a reminder.

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Asthma control drugs

When You're in the Hospital

In the hospital, the provider helped your child breathe better. This likely involved giving oxygen through a mask and medicines to open the lung airways.

What to Expect at Home

Your child will probably still have asthma symptoms after leaving the hospital. These symptoms include:

You may need to take time off work to care for your child.

Take Charge of Your Child's Asthma at Home

Make sure you know the asthma symptoms to watch out for in your child.

You should know how to take your child's peak flow reading and understand what it means.

Keep the phone number of your child's provider with you.

Triggers may make asthma symptoms worse. Know which triggers make your child's asthma worse and what to do when this happens. Common triggers include:

Know how to prevent or treat asthma symptoms that arise when your child is active. These things might also trigger your child's asthma:

Understand your child's asthma medicines and how they should be taken. These include:

Keep Smoking Away From Your Child

No one should smoke in your house. This includes you, your visitors, your child's babysitters, and anyone else who comes to your house.

Smokers should smoke outside and wear a coat. The coat will keep smoke particles from sticking to clothes, so it should be left outside or away from the child.

Ask people who work at your child's day care, preschool, school, and anyone else who takes care of your child, if they smoke. If they do, make sure they smoke away from your child.

School and Asthma

Children with asthma need a lot of support at school. They may need help from school staff to keep their asthma under control and to be able to do school activities.

There should be an asthma action plan at school. The people who should have a copy of the plan include:

Your child should be able to take asthma medicines at school when needed.

School staff should know your child's asthma triggers. Your child should be able to go to another location to get away from asthma triggers, if needed.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your child's provider if your child is having any of the following:

Also call the provider if your child:

Related Information

Asthma in children
Asthma
How to use your peak flow meter
Asthma - control drugs
Asthma - quick-relief drugs
Asthma and school
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
Exercising and asthma at school
How to use an inhaler - no spacer
How to use an inhaler - with spacer
Make peak flow a habit
Stay away from asthma triggers
Signs of an asthma attack
Traveling with breathing problems
Asthma in children - what to ask your doctor

References

Jackson DJ, Lemanske RF, Bacharier LB. Management of asthma in infants and children. In: Burks AW, Holgate ST, O'Hehir RE, et al, eds. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 50.

Liu AH, Spahn JD, Sicherer SH. Childhood asthma. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 169.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/guidelines-for-diagnosis-management-of-asthma. Updated September 2012. Accessed August 7, 2020.

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Review Date: 5/27/2020  

Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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