Children's Hospital Colorado

Managing Asthma in Children

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Managing and living with asthma

Once your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it's time to create a plan to manage it. With the right team and treatment, your child can get back to the things they love.

Angela's daughter Ava was diagnosed with asthma at 3 years old. Now, 7-year-old Ava says that having asthma "isn't a big deal."

Our families discuss managing their asthma

Our families talk about living with asthma and their best tips and tricks for helping kids manage their condition – from how to use controller medications to preventing asthma attacks.

Ongoing asthma management resources

Tips for helping kids take their medication

With several years of experience, Angela knows a lot about asthma controller medications. Listen as she and Ava share how to use asthma medicine and equipment like an inhaler, allergy spray and peak flow meter.

Humidifier safety

Using humidifiers in the home to prevent dry skin and sore throats is common. But using the right humidifier and cleaning it properly – especially for kids living with asthma – is critical. Learn how to use them safely from an expert in pediatric pulmonology.

Learn more potential humidifier dangers

Asthma tips for parents

Check out Angela's favorite tips for keeping kids with asthma healthy and happy.

  • Follow a daily medication routine.

    "We follow a nighttime routine to make sure we stay on top of Ava's medications. Before she brushes her teeth each night, we go down the line of her medications. I watch her take each one."

  • Get your child an annual flu shot.

    "Ava's asthma symptoms worsen when she is sick, so I do everything I can to keep her well. I get her a flu shot as early as possible each year."

  • Keep an eye on changes in your child's skin coloring.

    "I notice that Ava's skin color changes are a good indicator of how she is feeling. If I notice major changes, it's time to go indoors to get away from outdoor triggers."

  • Teach your child how to take their medicines themselves.

    "Ava is much better about taking her medications, like her inhaler and nasal spray, when she can administer them herself under my supervision. I keep old, empty inhalers for her to use for practice without wasting medicine."

  • Use videos to teach your child how to use their medications.

    There are a lot of videos online that show you and your child how to take asthma medications like inhalers. We have "how-to" videos on a variety of different inhalers on their website.

  • Minimize as many triggers as possible at home.

    Ava's asthma is triggered by environmental factors like grass and mold. "We minimize these triggers at home by replacing filters regularly, not allowing pets in her room, taking shoes off inside and not allowing smoking in our house."

  • Make your child's medicines easily accessible.

    "We keep Ava’s emergency medicines in one drawer so that we know exactly where to find them when we need them. We also have one backup refill of her emergency medicines in the drawer so that we are ready if she runs out."

  • Meet with school staff to discuss your child's asthma plan.

    "I was nervous about sending Ava to school because of her asthma, but meeting with the school staff made a huge difference." Request a meeting with your child's teacher, administrators and school nurse to make a school-specific asthma action plan.

  • Call our nurse line if you have concerns.

    Sometimes you need to ask for additional help. "When I'm worried about Ava's breathing, I call the 24/7 Children's Colorado ParentSmart Healthline" at 720-777-0123, or their pulmonology nurse line, which is open during business hours for current pulmonology patients.

Angela sits with her daughter Ava talking about their plan to treat Ava's asthma.
"As long as you stick to your plan, they get better."
Angela, Ava's mom

Additional asthma resources

Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.