Most often, childhood asthma is caused by a narrowing of the airways that run between the mouth and lungs. This narrowing slows down the normal flow of air in and out of the lungs. Often, asthma may cause your child to wheeze or cough, especially at night. At Henry Ford, our Pediatricians are experts in helping you and your child understand the causes and care involved in living with the diagnosis of asthma.

Many times, asthma can be triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances known as allergens or triggers.

Some examples of triggers include:

  • Allergies to dogs, cats, plant pollens or certain medicines
  • Animals
  • Dust
  • Changes in the weather
  • Chemicals in the air or in food
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Common colds or respiratory infections
  • Exercise
  • Infections
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Medication

If your child has been prescribed medication for asthma, it is important that you give the prescribed medicines in the dosage and at the times instructed by your pediatrician. Some medicine works to prevent wheezing and needs to be given on a regular schedule. Other medications treat the wheezing when it occurs and should only be given when your child has an attack.

Call your pediatrician or go to the Emergency Department if:

  • Your child's breathing gets worse and he or she is unable to talk, eat, play or sleep because of the breathing problem
  • Your child's skin or fingers turn blue
  • Your child is unable to take the medication because he or she is coughing or vomiting
  • Your child appears to need medication more often than as prescribed by the doctor (this includes breathing treatments or use of an inhaler)

Remember: Bring your child's asthma medication when you go to the Emergency Department.

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