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When to Go to the ER if Your Child Has Asthma


What's an Asthma Emergency?

As a parent of a child with asthma, you want to avoid the emergency room (ER) as much as possible. But it's also important to know when going to the ER is the right choice.

Sometimes, kids with asthma need medical care very quickly. If any of these symptoms happen, see your doctor immediately, go to the ER, or call an ambulance:

How Can ER Visits Be Less Stressful?

Planning can make trips to the ER less stressful for you and your child. Here are some tips to try:

How Can We Avoid a Trip to the ER?

Well-managed asthma is rarely life-threatening. Taking asthma medicines as prescribed can help prevent severe asthma flare-ups and the need for emergency care.

Taking asthma seriously and working to manage it can make it less likely that your child will need to go to the ER.

Asthma Action Plan button

It's important to monitor your child's asthma using the written asthma action plan your doctor helps you create. This plan will outline day-to-day treatment, symptoms to watch for, and step-by-step instructions to follow during a flare-up.

What Else Should I Know?

Many kids go to the ER simply because they didn't have their quick-relief medicines handy. Your child should have this medicine available at all times, including at school, at sporting events, and while traveling.

Date reviewed: June 2017


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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