If your child has asthma, it is important to periodically check if his or her asthma is properly controlled. According to national treatment guidelines established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), children with asthma should be symptom-free all or most of the time. Yet a national survey just released, Children and Asthma in America, found that the majority of parents of children with asthma inaccurately believed their child’s asthma was well controlled, despite many signs pointing to the contrary. For example:
- More than half of the children experienced daytime, nighttime or exercise-induced asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath in the past four weeks because of their asthma.
- About 20 percent of children experience daytime symptoms three times a week to daily.
- Almost one-third have visited the emergency room in the past year.
- More than half of the children missed school due to asthma in the past year.
These are all potential signs of uncontrolled asthma according to NIH guidelines.
As a parent, one of the best things you can do to help control your child’s asthma is to TALK about it with him or her. Talking openly, honestly, and frequently with your child about his or her asthma symptoms can help you understand how asthma affects your child.
Ask your child very specific questions about symptoms. A great way to get started is to take the Asthma Control Test™ with your child. A simple 5-question test that can help you assess your child’s level of asthma control. A free brochure featuring the Asthma Control Test™ and lots of good tips on asthma management is available by clicking here or by calling 1-800-377-9575. More information about asthma in children can also be found by visiting www.AsthmaActionAmerica.org.