• What is asthma?

    People with asthma experience a narrowing of the airways in the lungs, which obstructs the flow of air into and out of the lungs.  This narrowing can be reversed using medications.

    Asthma is most easily recognized by the following symptoms:

    • wheezing when breathing out

    • a persistent irritable cough, especially at night

    • difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath

    • tightness and heaviness in the chest

    • wheezing or coughing with exercise (exercise induced asthma)

    Triggers for asthma include allergens, infections, exercise, cold air, changes in temperature and cigarette smoke.

    What I can do to help my child avoid asthma attacks?

    You can help your child avoid asthma attacks by keeping him or her away from triggers and irritants that can start an asthma attack. The following are some examples of common triggers and irritants:

    • Air pollution

    • Dust

    • Mold

    • Pollen

    • Tobacco smoke

    • Pet dander

    • Exercise

    • Changes in temperature

    • Certain foods

    • Aspirin, or NSAID

    • Sinus infections

    • Perfume

    How can I tell if my child’s asthma is serious ?

    Have your child use a peak flow meter every day. A peak flow meter measures how much air flows out of your child’s lungs. People who have asthma have lower air flow in and out of their lungs than other people.
    A meter can also help tell you and your doctor how serious your child’s asthma attacks are. You’ll be able to see when your child should take medicine or when you need emergency care for your child.

    How is a peak flow meter used ?

    To use a peak flow meter, your child should follow these steps:

    1. Move the indicator to the bottom of the numbered scale.

    2. Stand up.

    3. Take a deep breath.

    4. Close his or her lips around the mouthpiece of the flow meter.

    5. Blow out as hard and fast as possible.

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