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How to Use a Dry Powder Inhaler
How to Use a MDI
How to Use a MDI with Spacer
Causes (Triggers) of Asthma Attacks
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR ASTHMA ATTACK|
- Asthma Rescue Medicine:
- Start your child's quick relief medicine (e.g., albuterol inhaler or nebs) at the first sign of any coughing or shortness of breath (don't wait for wheezing). (Reason: Early treatment shortens the asthma attack).
- The best "cough medicine" for a child with asthma is always the asthma medicine.
- Follow your child's action plan for asthma attacks.
- For albuterol inhalers, give 2 puffs separated by a few minutes, every 4 to 6 hours.
- Continue the asthma rescue medicine until your child has not wheezed or coughed for 48 hours.
- Asthma Controller Medicine: If your child is using a controller medicine (e.g., inhaled steroids or cromolyn), continue to give it as directed.
- Hay Fever: For nose allergy symptoms, it's OK to give antihistamines.
- Fluids: Encourage drinking normal amounts of clear fluids (e.g., water) (Reason: keeps the lung mucus from becoming sticky).
- Humidifier: If the air is dry, use a humidifier (Reason: to prevent drying of the upper airway).
- Avoid or Remove Allergens: Give a shower to remove pollens, animal dander, or other allergens from the body and hair. Avoid known triggers of asthma attacks (e.g., tobacco smoke, feather pillows). Avoid exercise only during the attack.
- Expected Course: If treatment is started early, most asthma attacks are quickly brought under control. All wheezing should be gone by 5 days.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Difficulty breathing occurs
- Inhaled asthma medicine (neb or inhaler) is needed more often than every 4 hours
- Wheezing persists over 24 hours
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 6/12/2008
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.