Warning Signs

Teach Your Child

It’s important that your child knows to do the following at the first sign of worsening symptoms:

  • Tell an adult he knows that he’s having asthma warning signs.
  • Take his quick relief medication.
  • Sit down and rest.

Most children have some warning signs when their asthma symptoms worsen. An Asthma Action Plan can help you decide what to do if warning signs occur. Go over this list of common signs with your child to help her recognize when her asthma symptoms are getting worse. Consult your child’s Asthma Action Plan. Share it with others who help care for your child.

Common Warning Signs of Worsening Asthma

  • Shortness of breath, problems breathing, or feeling like he can’t catch his breath
  • Tight or painful feeling in the chest or throat
  • Coughing and/or wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Feeling tired or grumpy
  • Feeling sick
  • A reduction in peak flow meter reading

Call 911 or go to the emergency room without delay when:

  • Your child’s wheezing gets worse even after you have given her medicine time to start working. (Most quick-relief medicines work within 15 minutes.)
  • Your child’s lips or fingernail beds are turning blue.
  • Nostrils are flaring each time your child breathes in.
  • The skin between the ribs or base of your child’s throat looks like it stretches every time she breathes in.
  • Talking or walking at a normal pace is difficult.
  • Peak flow meter reading is in the red zone.
Asthma Triggers
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Learn how controlling triggers can reduce your child’s asthma symptoms.

Asthma Action Plan
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Use this convenient form to help manage your child’s asthma.

Medicine Quiz
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Take this quiz to get answers about your child's asthma medicines.