Preventing Asthma Attacks

A correct diagnosis of asthma is the first step in keeping children with the disorder healthy. Although asthma can't be cured, it can be controlled with lifestyle changes, medication and monitoring.

"Medications for children could allow at least 85 percent of them to have good control of their asthma," says Bradley E. Chipps, M.D., a pulmonologist and allergist in Sacramento, CA. Asthma control is an ongoing commitment: "It's not a sprint; it's a marathon," says Dr. Chipps. So, if your child has asthma, regular doctor visits are a must.

The Childhood Asthma Control Test, a questionnaire that helps your doctor monitor your child's condition, is a useful tool. Download the checklist at asthmacontrol.com, and take it with you to the physician's office.

In addition, experts advise parents not to leave the doctor's office without a written asthma action plan. It should spell out how to prevent symptoms and what to do when they flare up. It is also important to share it with everyone responsible for your child's care, including grandparents, caregivers, teachers, principals and school nurses.

Publication Review By: Raymond Slavin, M.D.; Derek Johnson, M.D. for MDminuteâ„¢

Published: 30 Sep 2009

Last Modified: 10 Oct 2014