Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. In an asthma attack, symptoms can develop suddenly. It is vital to have an action plan ready ahead of time.

Stay Calm

  • Seeing a child struggling to breathe can be a frightening experience.
  • By staying calm you will be better able to reassure the child.
  • Talk quietly in soft tones. Put the child in a comfortable position for breathing.
  • Have the child close his/her eyes.
  • Have the child take long, slow deep breaths.

Act Immediately

  • Early treatment is vital so keep asthma medications in easy reach.
  • Give the child an inhaled bronchodilator like albuterol or proventil immediately. This should help open the bronchial tubes.
  • If possible, give the medicine via a nebulizer. If this is not possible, give two puffs from a measured dose inhaler.

Call for Help: 718-670-1920

  • Regardless of how a child responds to medication, please call and report the attack to our around-the-clock telephone hotline. The hotline can quickly put you in touch with a health care professional who can provide further instructions or advice over the phone.

For Severe Attacks, Go To The Emergency Room

  • In some cases, a child may require hospital treatment. If you feel that the attack is severe, or if the child is not responding to the medication, take the child to the nearest emergency room.

© NewYork-Presbyterian Queens