What to Do Before Asthma Attacks Strike

If your child has asthma, it’s easy to feel helpless – especially since you can’t watch him 24/7. But you can do more than merely hope for the best. Here’s how to protect your child from asthma attacks… Click here for more.

Asthma is unpredictable. For about 10% of American kids, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness can come on suddenly, even in mild cases. Several hundred children with asthma – mostly those whose condition is not well-managed – even die after acute asthma attacks every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

No wonder you’re constantly anxious about your child’s asthma attacks – especially when you’re not around.

“Acute episodes, when the child can’t complete sentences or catch a breath, are frightening for children and parents,” says Elizabeth Matsui, M.D., a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

But you can set up safeguards. Use the “it-takes-a-village” mentality to protect your child from asthma attacks. Enlist the help of every adult the child sees each day – caregivers, teachers, coaches and neighbors, says Anne Borgmeyer, R.N., a pediatric nurse practitioner specializing in asthma at Children’s Hospital of St. Louis.

“It takes a lot of coordination,” Borgmeyer says. “Every person who cares for that kid needs to know what to do.”