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A refresher on childhood asthma: What families should know and do

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children. In the US, it affects about 6 million children, or about one in every 12 children.

Breathing is key to life, obviously, so asthma can make life very hard. It can make going for a walk outside feel very hard. It leads not just to visits with the doctor or to the emergency room, and to hospitalizations, but also to missed school, missed work for parents, missed events, and missed activities.

The good news is that asthma is very treatable. If parents, children, and doctors work together, a child with asthma can lead a healthy, normal life. Here’s what you need to know and do.

Know your child’s symptoms

Wheezing is definitely a symptom of asthma, but a dry persistent cough can be as well (for some children, this occurs mostly at night).

Watch for signs that a child is working harder to breathe. One sign is skin tugging inward between, on top of, or below the ribs. Difficulty talking in long sentences is another sign of this

 

 

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