News | Published July 19, 2013

Let your kids talk about their asthma symptoms

During a doctor’s visit, some parents think that they should do all the talking; however, a study in the July issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), found that children with asthma say they have a better quality of life in terms of activity limitation than their parents think they have.

The results show that it’s important for physicians to ask both parents and children about the effects asthma is having on the child’s daily life.

This study looked at how children feel based on their asthma, and at the role the child’s perspective plays in guiding the allergist, pulmonologist or pediatrician and how they gear their treatments.

To help make sure your child is receiving the best treatment for their particular symptoms, the ACAAI put together a list of topics that parents and children should discuss with their physician:

  1. “I can/can’t play sports or take part in other physical activities.” If your child cannot play sports or participate in gym class due to their asthma symptoms, it’s important to discuss this with your physician. If your child can partake in these types of physical activities, make sure to also make note of this as well to reinforce that their condition is being well managed.
  2. “When I am outside or at home, my asthma symptoms become worse.” Discussing this topic is important because it may help your physician better understand and treat your child’s asthma and their triggers.
  3. “I often feel sad or different from other kids because I have asthma.” Reports show that nearly half of children with asthma report feeling depressed or left out of activities due to their condition, so it’s crucial to make sure your child’s asthma is not affecting their emotional health as well.
  4. “There have been times that I have missed school because of my asthma.” If your child is continuously missing school days due to their asthma, you should talk to your child’s physician about finding other treatment options.
  5. “My asthma is cured.” Symptoms may be controlled through proper treatment, but asthma does not disappear. Your child should always carry and use their inhaler as prescribed, even if symptoms aren’t severe.

To better understand how your child’s asthma is affecting their life, talk to them openly. If your child’s asthma symptoms worsen, call their physician.

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology