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Asthma Attack in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

An asthma attack happens when your child's airway becomes more swollen and narrowed than usual. Some asthma attacks can be treated at home with rescue medicines. An asthma attack that does not get better with treatment is a medical emergency.

Normal vs Asthmatic Bronchioles


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

Return to the emergency department if:

Call your child's doctor or asthma specialist if:


Your child may need any of the following:

Follow your child's Asthma Action Plan (APP):

An AAP is a written plan to help you manage your child's asthma. It is created with your child's healthcare provider. Give the AAP to all of your child's care providers. This includes your child's teachers and school nurse. An AAP contains the following information:

Know the early warning signs of an asthma attack:

Early treatment may prevent a more serious asthma attack.

Keep your child away from common asthma triggers:

Prevent Asthma Attacks

Manage your child's other health conditions:

This includes allergies and acid reflux. These conditions can trigger your child's asthma.

Ask about vaccines your child may need:

Vaccines can help prevent infections that could trigger your child's asthma. Ask your child's healthcare provider what vaccines your child needs. Your child may need a yearly flu shot.

Follow up with your child's doctor or asthma specialist as directed:

Bring a diary of your child's peak flow numbers, symptoms, and triggers with you to the visit. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.