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6 tips to help parents manage their child’s asthma

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According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 6 million U.S. children have been diagnosed with asthma. In fact, asthma flare-ups are the #1 reason for kids frequently missing school and are the most common cause of pediatric emergency room visits due to a chronic illness.

To help parents cope with their child’s asthma, the most visited website devoted to children’s health and parenting information, offers 6 simple tips:

1. Understand the asthma action plan.
Make sure your child has an asthma action plan, and ask your doctor to explain what to do for your child’s asthma at each step. 

2. Set up a schedule.
 Follow the steps on your child’s action plan at the same time every day. Make sure medicine is part of your child’s daily routine, like teeth-brushing. 

3. Use asthma management tools.
Be consistent with recommended daily meds to prevent flare-ups. Do not rely on rescue medicines. 

4. Don't smoke. Cigarette smoke is a common cause of asthma aggravation in children. Encourage anyone in your family who smokes to quit.

5. Control your environment. Limit exposure to allergic triggers that can aggravate asthma; for instance, if pet dander is a trigger, keep pets out of your child’s bedroom. Ask your doctor if special mattress and pillow covers might be helpful if your child has a dust mite allergy.

6. Make sure your child has an active lifestyle.
  Asthma shouldn’t keep kids on the sidelines. Preventive medicines help to keep asthma under control, so kids can play sports and keep up with their friends.

“Asthma can be a very scary thing for kids – and their parents – which is why education and understanding are so important,” explains Hemant Sharma, MD, Visiting Fellow at and Fellow, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “Some kids have only mild, occasional symptoms while others have more severe asthma, which without proper care, can dramatically limit how active they are and cause changes in lung function. With patient education and the right asthma management plan, families can learn to control symptoms and asthma flare-ups more independently, allowing kids and parents to do the things they love.” has created three distinct, age-appropriate Asthma Centers that include interactive features, movies, printouts, and hundreds of articles written specifically for parents, kids, and teens. Families can find information, including:

• Daily Asthma Diary

• Asthma Dictionary

• Asthma Action Plan

• Asthma Movie – Asthma Flare-Ups: What Happens 

For more information about asthma, visit