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Child With Asthma

Is your child’s asthma under control?

Your child has asthma and it can sometimes feel like you’re battling an invisible enemy. Children with asthma often appear very healthy, just like any other youngster. However, issues that most children can brush off—a bout of exercise or a simple cold—can result in a hospitalization for the asthmatic child if the respiratory illness isn’t under control with medication.

As a parent, what’s so upsetting, is being unsure if you have a lid on asthma or not. When that trigger occurs—be it pollen, mold, dust, a pet cat or a cold—will your youngster’s asthma intensify and be out of control?

The bottom line is, it’s difficult to recognize—but certainly not impossible. For example, there are systems to tell how much coughing is too much if your child is coughing at night. Yes, your child may need their rescue inhaler occasionally, but if he or she needs it too frequently, that’s an indicator that he or she is possibly edging into a crisis/danger zone.

If your youngster is aged 5 to 11, you can utilize this assessment tool to assist in determining if his or her asthma is well under control. (This assessment tool, which was prepared from “asthma guidelines” issued in 2007 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is not intended to replace a physician consultation. It should neither be used for children under the age of 5 or 12 years and older.)

1 . My child shows asthma signs and symptoms such as wheezing or coughing:

 A. Not more than two days per week and never more than once per day (+1 point)

 B. Several times per day for at least two days per week, or greater than two days per week (+2 points)

 C. Throughout each day, every day (+3 points)

2 . My child has wheezing or has coughing at night that wakes him or her up:

A. Once per month or less (+1 point)

B. Twice per month or greater (+2 points)

C. Twice per week or greater (+3 points)

3 . My child requires use of his or her rescue nebulizer or inhaler:

A. Two days per week or less (+1 point)

B. Greater than two days per week (+2 points)

C. Several times every day (+3 points)

4 . In my child’s daily life, asthma signs and symptoms:

A. Never limit her or his activities (+1 point)

B. Produce some limitation (+2 points)

C. Significantly limit activity (+3 points)

5 . My child has experienced asthma symptoms so severe that he or she has needed a course of oral corticosteroids:

A. Once per year or not at all (+1 point)

B. Greater than twice per year (+3 points)

If your child’s score is 5 points:

Experts would consider your child’s asthma to be under control, based on symptoms alone. You should continue to assure your child takes their medication correctly and carefully, and be sure to visit your physician in a period of one to six months. An additional way to evaluate asthma control will be to measure peak flow, that is done with peak flow meter at home. If peak flow measurement is greater than 80% of child’s personal best measurement, asthma is under control. If your child’s peak flow is 80% or less than their personal best, asthma is not well controlled.

If your score is 6 points or more:

Your child’s score suggests that his or her asthma is not as well controlled as it should be. Speak with your physician as soon as possible to determine if your child is receiving the right type and amount of asthma medication. Again, additionally, another method to check asthma control will be to measure peak flow, that’s easily done with a peak flow meter, at home. If the peak flow number/measurement is greater than 80% of youngster’s personal best peak flow, asthma is well controlled. If your child’s peak flow measurement number is 80% or less of their personal best, asthma is not as controlled as it could be.