Childhood asthma plan


Tips for parents

A child's asthma flare-up can be frightening, but there’s a lot you can do to keep your child healthy and active. 

Get help and support

Your child’s doctor can help you put together an action plan (PDF) for managing your child’s asthma, but if you need more help, check out our health classes. When you know what to expect, you’ll be prepared to make the right decisions for your child.

Manage your child’s medications

A nurse measures a teen girl's breathingYou’re your child’s best ally when it comes to managing asthma. Learn the names of your child's medications and how to use them. Then teach your child what to do at as early an age as possible.

Most young children are able to use a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) to take asthma medication. If your child is too young to use an inhaler, you can use a nebulizer to give medication.

Protect your child at school

If your child attends preschool, day care, or school, make sure that the teachers and staff know what medications your child needs and how to use them. Give the school a supply of these medications, especially inhalers. Exercise-induced asthma is common in children with asthma, so if your child is active or plays sports, make sure the coach knows the early warning signs of an asthma flare-up, like persistent coughing.

Does your child have allergies, too? Be sure to tell the school staff, and teach your child how to avoid his or her triggers.

Reduce your child’s risks

Children of smokers are more likely to have asthma flare-ups and more severe cases of asthma, so quit smoking for your kids' sake, and don't let others smoke in your home.

Colds and flu can trigger your child's asthma, so be sure to take your child to get a flu shot each year.

Related links

Asthma Control Test for children (ages 4 to 11)

Reviewed by: Patricia McNally, MD, November 2018