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Asthma is one of the commonest chronic medical conditions to affect children and it has been affecting an increasing number of children in the past 10 years.

Children with asthma, like adults with asthma, should see a doctor for treatment of their asthma. Treatment may include allergy testing, finding ways to limit contact with things that bring on asthma attacks, and taking medicine.

Young children will need help from their parents and other caregivers to keep their asthma under control. Older children can learn to care for themselves and follow their asthma self-management plan with less supervision.

Asthma medicines for children are like those adults use, but doses are smaller. Children with asthma may need both a quick-relief (or "rescue") inhaler for attacks and daily medicine to control their asthma. Children with moderate or severe asthma should learn to use a peak flow meter to help keep their asthma under control. Using a peak flow meter can be very helpful because children often have a hard time describing their symptoms.

Parents should be alert for possible signs of asthma in children, such as coughing at night, frequent colds, wheezing, or other signs of breathing problems. If you suspect that your child has asthma or that your child's asthma is not well controlled, take your child to a doctor for an exam and testing.

Your doctor will choose medicines for your child based on the child's symptoms and test results. If your child has asthma, you will need to go to the doctor for regular followup visits and to make sure that your child uses the medicines properly


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