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Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects about 7 million children nationwide. It is the third-ranking cause of hospitalizations for children under the age of 15 in the U.S. Asthma can be diagnosed at any age.
In a child with asthma, the breathing tubes are inflamed, tight and filled with more mucus than normal. All of these lead to asthma symptoms such as:
Although the exact cause of asthma is unknown, risk factors include:
If your child has symptoms of asthma, a Riley at IU Health doctor can perform the following tests and exams to make a diagnosis:
The goals of asthma management are to control symptoms with the lowest dose of daily medicine possible and to minimize risk. This includes maintaining normal body weight, doing aerobic exercises, eating a balanced diet and avoiding triggers. Triggers are factors that can make asthma symptoms worse. These include:
When asthma is controlled, children can enjoy excellent quality of life and normal life expectancy.
Treatment for asthma includes:
Asthma can be well-controlled with today’s medicines. Asthma can be life-threatening, but with good medicines and regular asthma checkups, scary asthma attacks and life-threatening situations can be avoided. A child whose asthma is well-controlled usually does not experience asthma problems, such as coughing and wheezing, more than twice a week. He or she can join in school, sports and all other daily physical activities. Your child should receive an Asthma Action Plan that describes what to watch for, which medicines to use, and when to take them.
Visit the trusted websites below to learn more about asthma.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
Learn what an asthma action plan is and how asthma zones relate to your child's asthma action plan.
The doctors at Riley at IU Health share ways to help your child relax during an asthma episode.
This in-depth resource from the doctors at Riley at IU Health provides step-by-step directions for using common asthma medicines.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research.
This voluntary network of people and organizations has a goal to reduce the burden of asthma on people living in Indiana.
The CDC's National Asthma Control Program funds state and school programs that further asthma education and includes helpful resources on its website.
Follow this checklist to ensure your child's asthma stays controlled throughout the school year.
The Pulmonology & Respiratory Care and Allergy & Asthma departments at Riley at IU Health are actively involved in research studies focused on pediatric asthma. Ask your child's doctor for more information about current studies and your child's eligibility to participate in a clinical trial.