Story by: Norton Children’s on December 28, 2020
An asthma attack in a child can be scary. Wheezing — a whistling sound especially when exhaling — is the classic sign of an attack or flare-up.
Other common signs are coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A child with asthma may only have some of these symptoms. If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, you should have an asthma action plan. Since every child’s asthma is different, your action plan is tailored to your child and organized in green, yellow or red zones based on the severity of the attack. To treat an asthma flare-up, you should use your quick-relief inhaler (i.e., albuterol) as directed by your doctor in your asthma action plan.
A severe asthma attack can be life-threatening. Some signs to look for are:
“If a child begins to show signs of a severe asthma attack or enters the red ‘danger’ zone in their action plan, get emergency help or call 911,” said Ronald L. Morton, M.D., pediatric pulmonologist with Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.
“If you suspect your child has asthma, but hasn’t been diagnosed, talk to your pediatrician. Kids with asthma can be active with proper care,” he said.
Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness’ Open Airways class is held monthly to provide information about asthma, including triggers, symptoms and how to detect early warning signs. Register for an upcoming class taught by a certified American Lung Association educator at NortonChildrens.com/Classes&Events.