6 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Doctor about Asthma

When your child has asthma, having a doctor manage your child’s asthma is key to keeping asthma under control and your child out of the emergency department.

If your child is diagnosed with asthma, here are some things you need to talk about with your child’s doctor: 

  1.  Does my child need medication? 
    Your child’s doctor will probably give you a “rescue” inhaler for an asthma attack, but your child may also need a controller medicine. This is a drug used daily to prevent flare-ups, even if there are no symptoms. Your child may also need breathing treatments, and there are breathing treatment machines you can use at home. Talk to your doctor about what drugs your child will need. Make sure you get instructions on how to use the medicine. 
  2.  What can I do to manage my child’s asthma? 
    The doctor should also walk you through what you’ll need to do to take care of your child’s asthma symptoms and flare-ups. It is best if you and your child’s doctor create a written Asthma Action Plan. This plan outlines what to do every day to control asthma, what steps to take if asthma worsens, and what to do if your child has an asthma attack.
  3.  Could our home be making my child sick? 
    Things in your home could be making your child’s asthma worse. A doctor can talk with you about asthma triggers, and suggest changes that may be needed. You can use a Triggers Checklist to make small changes that will make your home a healthier place for your child. 
  4.  How often does my child need to see a doctor? 
    Your doctor will let you know how often you should bring your child in for an asthma management visit. If you are still working to get your child’s asthma under control, the doctor will likely want to see him or her often.  Once it is under control, you should expect to visit the doctor at least once a year, because your doctor will want to check your child’s condition and medicine. Also make sure you ask the doctor when they want you to call their office, such as when controller medicine isn’t working or when your child is using the rescue inhaler often.
  5.  What about a flu shot? 
    Your child should get a flu shot every year, but your child’s doctor will need to make sure it doesn’t affect his or her asthma. It is best to take your child to the doctor for a flu shot, rather than those offered at school or other places. 
  6.  Can my child play sports? 
    If your child’s asthma is under control, he or she should be able to play sports or exercise. Check with your child’s doctor before they begin a new physical activity, and let the doctor know immediately if your child has an asthma attack during or following activity. 

You and your doctor are a team that can make sure your child’s asthma is manageable. Perhaps the most important thing you can do to get your child’s asthma under control is to get started with a doctor’s care. 

To learn more about Asthma and the Taking on Asthma initiative, visit our website!

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