Children's Hospital Colorado
Breathing Institute
Breathing Institute

Contact us

blue outline of two people with one slightly in front of the other icon

Refer a patient

The Asthma Program

At Children's Hospital Colorado, the pediatric experts in our Asthma Program provide comprehensive asthma education to patients and families and the latest in diagnostic testing. We also offer trigger identification to find the causes of asthma, including pulmonary function testing and allergen skin testing if age-appropriate.

Our staff includes dedicated pulmonologists, allergists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, a dietitian and a social worker. Many of our staff members are certified asthma educators.

What is asthma?

Asthma is the most common chronic (long-lasting) condition in children. Asthma symptoms range from recurrent coughing or wheezing to exercise-induced coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or low endurance.

Why choose Children's Colorado for the treatment of your child's asthma?

Our Breathing Institute's mission is to provide comprehensive clinical care and consultation for children with common and complex breathing problems.

Our pediatric healthcare providers work closely with hospitals, referring providers and community organizations to promote healthy outcomes for our patients with asthma and to decrease the frequency of emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to asthma exacerbations (which can include chest tightness, skin color changes and allergy or cold-like symptoms). Every year, our team sees more than 2,000 patients for their asthma care, including more than 200 patients who have high-risk asthma.

At Children's Colorado, parents and families are valued members of their child's healthcare team. We take time to answer questions, address your concerns and provide the education and tools you need to manage your child's asthma on a day-to-day basis and during exacerbations. Our asthma team also coordinates communication between your child's healthcare providers.

What our asthma program offers

We evaluate all therapeutic options and provide opportunities for kids to participate in research studies that may prevent asthma exacerbations, even in difficult-to-control asthma. Our team develops personalized medicine techniques to help these children control their asthma and provide psychosocial support for children with asthma and their families.

Treating allergies and asthma

Allergies and asthma often go hand-in-hand. Approximately 88% of pediatric patients who have asthma also have allergies. When a child can better control their allergies, they can better control their asthma. This is why we partner with our Allergy Program to help treat patients with allergy-induced asthma and other allergic conditions connected to asthma – such as eczema, nose allergies (hay fever) and food allergies.

Other asthma care services include:

  • Special clinics for babies and toddlers with wheeze and cough
  • The most recent evidence-based medical practices towards the prevention and progression of asthma
  • Specialized clinical staff (nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists and asthma counselors) who have dedicated their careers to working with asthma patients
  • Thorough child and family-friendly evaluations
  • Spirometry (an age-appropriate breathing test)
  • Skin allergy testing (when age appropriate)
  • Asthma education and a written asthma action plan
  • School asthma action plan
  • Education on medication, devices and usage
  • Collaboration and integration with our Allergy Program

Treatment for severe and high-risk asthma

The Multidisciplinary Asthma Clinic provides comprehensive care for pediatric patients with difficult-to-treat and severe asthma. Patients have a dedicated team of providers who specialize in pulmonary, allergy and social work, plus access to nutrition, speech therapy and psychology as needed.

Our goal is to improve the health and quality of life for children with asthma and their families. This includes those who have frequent attacks or whose lives are chronically affected by asthma despite medication and excellent care by their current provider.

Patients ideally suited for this clinic may have had more than two emergency room visits or more than one hospitalization for their asthma. They may also not respond to standard guideline-based therapy.

Our teams evaluate patients for additional medical diagnoses that complicate asthma care, identify triggers that patients may have a hard time avoiding, and optimize the care for allergies.

Many patients with difficult-to-treat asthma also report that life stressors make it hard to care for their asthma. Our dedicated social worker will explore these barriers to care and provide access to essential resources.

The coordinated care that families receive in the Clinic helps avoid multiple appointments, simplifying their care. The multidisciplinary setting allows collaboration, better communication and support for the primary asthma provider and other community-based caregivers.

These appointments are held in the Multidisciplinary Clinic on the second floor of the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Asthma research

The Asthma Program is committed to conducting cutting-edge research designed to advance asthma care and offer the most advanced treatment options. Program members participate in developing state, national and worldwide asthma guidelines.

This research is aimed at identifying new treatment strategies and medications, with the goal of preventing the onset of the disease. We also conduct research in the school setting to support a collaborative approach to asthma management in all areas of the child's life.