Finding Out If Your Child Has Asthma

Who has asthma?

Asthma can affect people of all ages. It's not known why people have asthma. If someone in your family has asthma or allergies, your child may have a greater chance of having asthma or allergies too.

Make an appointment with the health care provider as soon as possible if you think your child may have asthma.

What tests will the health care provider do?

The health care provider may do some tests to check your child for asthma. One test uses a tool called a spirometer. It checks to see how well your child’s lungs are working. This test can be done on children 5 years of age or older who take directions well. It measures how much air your child can breathe out. It also measures how fast he or she can breathe out.

As a parent, you can be with your child during the test. You can help your child feel at ease and follow the health care provider's instructions.

The health care provider may give your child some medicine and repeat the test to see if the medicine can help open the airways.

Another test uses a small tool your child can hold in his or her hand and against the mouth. It is called a peak flow meter. It measures how fast your child can breathe out. The health care provider may even give you one to take home. The peak flow meter can help you tell when your child’s asthma is flaring up.

It can be hard to find out if young children have asthma. Tests to see how the lungs work can be hard to do. Instead, the health care provider may give your child asthma medicines to see if they help.


Whenever you and your child visit the health care provider, you should ask any questions you may have about your child's asthma. Encourage your child to ask questions too.

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