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Staying Healthy

If your child has asthma, there is a lot you can do to keep the disease from impacting his life. First and foremost, follow your doctor’s recommendations for asthma medications. Be sure your child takes her medications on time and in the proper dose. Make sure you refill your childís medications in a timely fashion. And don’t miss follow up visits with your doctor or respiratory therapist.

Many doctors will also provide their patients with a written Asthma Action Plan, which outlines the steps you should take depending on your child’s symptoms, and a peak flow meter, which is a hand-held device you can use at home to measure your child’s lung function. Depending on the reading you get, you may need to adjust her medications to ensure proper control of the disease. Your doctor or respiratory therapist can provide you with detailed instructions on using these tools most effectively.

Another important strategy to help your child remain well and free of symptoms is to identify the things that trigger her asthma and then remove them from her environment. If your child is allergic to dust mites, for example, encasing his pillows and bedding in allergy-free plastic casings, removing carpeting from his room, and cutting down on the number of stuffed animals will significantly minimize an important trigger of symptoms. If pet hair or dander is the problem, pets may have to be removed from the home. Again, your doctor and respiratory therapist are your best sources for specific instructions based on your child’s special needs.

The most important thing to remember is that asthma does not have to have an adverse effect on your child’s life. Children with asthma can participate in all the activities other children participate in and remain perfectly well and without asthma symptoms. The key is understanding the disease and its treatment, and then following through with everything your doctor or respiratory therapist has recommended.

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© 2017 American Association for Respiratory Care