Pharmacy Residency (PGY1)

Asthma in Children

Asthma is a condition that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. The airways are the passages that lead from the nose and mouth down into the lungs. When asthma symptoms get worse, it is called an asthma attack. When this happens, it can be difficult for your child to breathe. Asthma attacks can range from minor to life threatening.

Asthma cannot be cured, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help to control your child’s asthma symptoms. It is important to keep your child’s asthma well controlled so that asthma does not cause problems for his or her daily life.

What are the signs or symptoms?

Symptoms may be different for each child. Common symptoms include:
  • Wheezing (breathing with a whistle or rattle sound)
  • Trouble breathing (shortness of breath)
  • Nighttime or early morning coughing
  • Frequent or severe coughing with a common cold
  • Chest tightness

How is asthma diagnosed and treated?

This condition may be diagnosed based on:
  • An exam by a provider and review of medical history, and
  • Lung function test to measure the flow of air in the lungs. In this test, you breathe into a device, called a spirometer. It measures breathing and does not hurt.

Treatment may include fast-acting or rescue medicines. These quickly relieve asthma symptoms. They are used when needed and provide short-term relief. Some patients who have poorly-controlled asthma could use daily preventative medications – doctors can help determine if this is needed.

Flu and asthma in children

Asthma can make it difficult to breathe. The flu virus can also make it hard to breathe. Don’t risk your child getting both! The flu shot is the BEST protection. Find a Parkland location near you! No appointment is needed and there is no cost to you.

Teach your child about why the flu shot is important with the Let’s Talk About Flu Coloring Book (English and Spanish PDF).

How can I get help for asthma at Parkland?

  • Make an appointment at one of our community clinics. Find a location near you.
  • Call 214-266-4000 to make an appointment
  • Request an appointment online with Parkland MyChart, the online patient portal. Go to
  • Email a Parkland Community Health Worker at for help getting asthma care.

Get help by text message

Sign up for Parkland’s asthma text message program to get appointment reminders, asthma health tips, reminders to refill medicines and more. The information and reminders will help you take care of your child’s asthma.

Keep your child well with the power of a text message:
  • Learn more about asthma
  • How to care for asthma
  • Reminders about healthcare
Sign up today!

Text @asthma to 844-721-0839
Except for message/data rates, the text program is free to eligible patients.

Learn more about Parkland's asthma text program: English PDF / Spanish PDF

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