Asthma in Children (cont.)
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How is asthma treated in children?
Based on your child's history and the severity of asthma, his or her doctor will develop a care plan, called an "asthma action plan." The asthma action plan describes when and how your child should use asthma medications, what to do when asthma gets worse, and when to seek emergency care for your child. Make sure you understand this plan and ask your child's doctor any questions you may have.
Your child's asthma action plan is important to successfully controlling his or her asthma. Keep it handy to remind you of your child's daily asthma management plan, as well as to guide you when your child develops asthma symptoms.
In addition to following your child's asthma action plan, you want to make sure exposure to asthma triggers is limited, and preferably avoided.
What asthma drugs can children take?
If an infant or child is experiencing symptoms of asthma requiring treatment with a bronchodilator medication more than twice a week, most doctors recommend daily anti-inflammatory medication.
Most asthma medications that are given to adults and older children can also safely be prescribed to toddlers and younger children. Drugs that are approved for younger children are given in doses adjusted for their age and weight. Specifically, children 4 years and up may be prescribed the asthma inhaler Advair. Advair treats both airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction. Another anti-inflammatory medication called Pulmicort Respules has been approved for children ages 12 months and up. In the case of inhaled drugs, a different delivery device based on the child's age and ability may be required. (Many children aren't able to coordinate their breathing well enough to use a standard inhaler.)
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