Asthma

Asthma is a condition that causes breathing problems. Kids may cough, wheeze, or be short of breath. This happens because airways in the lungs get swollen, smaller, and filled with mucus. Asthma is common in kids and teens, and tends to run in families. It can be mild or so severe that it gets in the way of daily activities.

Background Information

Adult-onset asthma is more common in women than in men. In most children, asthma develops before age 5 years, and, in more than half, asthma develops before age 3 years. Among infants, 20% have wheezing with only upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), and 60% no longer have wheezing by age 6 years.

Tips for Kids
  • Take breaks when exercising and playing sports
  • Always have your inhaler or any prescribed medication
  • Avoid smoke, dust, pet hair or other asthma triggers
Tips for Grownups
  • Have a plan and stick to it
  • Your child should have an asthma action plan
  • Take medicines as prescribed
  • Identify and avoid triggers
  • Make sure your child gets a yearly flu vaccine
  • Use tools when necessary
  • Know the signs of a flare-up
  • Know what to do for a severe flare-up
For Educators
  • Know which kids in your class have asthma
  • Know the early warning signs of an asthma episode or attack
  • Have a copy of the Asthma Action Plan in the classroom
  • Get forecasts and updates for air quality and environmental issues
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