Asthma

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Asthma is a chronic disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. It's characterized by episodes of reversible breathing problems. While asthma affects people of every race, sex and age, disparities exist in low-income and minority populations, such as children, African Americans and people living below the poverty level.

Asthma numbers

About six million children in the United States aged 0–17 have asthma.1 While asthma affects people of every race, sex, and age, disparities exist in low-income and minority populations (children, African Americans, people living below poverty level).2 Nationally, about 16% of African American children and 7% of Caucasian children have asthma.3

In 2008, an estimated 590,563 children in Texas had asthma. Child lifetime asthma prevalence was 14.1% and child current asthma prevalence was 9.2%.3 Asthma was the underlying cause of death for 16 children in Texas, and the age-adjusted asthma mortality rate in Texas was 9.7/million compared to 11.0/million nationwide.4 Asthma is also the most frequent primary diagnosis for inpatient and emergency room visits to Cook Children's regardless of the season.5

5Cook Children's Medical Center, Trauma Center, Physician Network, Case Management Services, Meditech Data Repository, and Epic Data Repository

Education and resources

Asthma is a lung disease. There is no cure, but you can control it. Asthma symptoms are different for each person. It's important to treat even mild symptoms so they don't get worse.

Main symptoms of asthma:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Tight feeling in chest
  • Coughing often

Triggers are the things that cause asthma symptoms. You may have one or many triggers. Common asthma triggers include:

  • Smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Allergies
  • Cockroaches
  • Weather change
  • Exercise or active playing
  • Infections
  • Strong odors and fumes

Reduce the presence of asthma triggers

You can reduce the presence of asthma triggers for your child. Watch these videos to find out what you can do.

Reaching Out: Experts discuss childhood asthma at Cook Children's

Experts discuss childhood asthma: Asthma affects an overwhelming amount of children in North Texas. The good news is that asthma can be controlled.

Undiagnosed Asthma | Cook Children's

Undiagnosed asthma: Is it a cough or is it asthma? Watch this video to see if you should talk to your child's doctor.

KidBits Asthma Green Cleaning

KidBits Asthma Green Cleaning: How-to tips on using green products to clean your house.

KidBits Asthma Mattress Covers

KidBits Asthma Mattress Covers: How-to tips on proper mattress covers to use.

KidBits Asthma Stuffed Animals

KidBits Asthma Stuffed Animals: How-to tips on stuffed animals and kids with asthma.

KidBits Asthma Pets

KidBits Asthma Pets: How-to tips on pets in your home.

KidBits Asthma Air Filters

KidBits Asthma Air Filters: How-to tips on managing your child's asthma with air filters.

KidBits Asthma Dusting

KidBits Asthma Dusting: How-to tips on how to properly remove dust from your house.

KidBits Asthma Dust Mites

KidBits Asthma Dust Mites: How-to tips on dust mites and managing your child's asthma.

KidBits Asthma Rescue v Control

KidBits Asthma Rescue v Control: How-to tips on differences in medications.

KidBits Asthma Severity

KidBits Asthma Severity: How-to tips on two types of asthma.

KidBits Asthma Myths

KidBits Asthma Myths How-to tips on myths about asthma.

Medicines used to treat asthma

There are two kinds of medicines used to treat asthma: reliever and controller medicines. Reliever medicines, sometimes referred to as rescue medications, are used as needed to give fast relief for symptoms. Controller medicines are used daily to control and prevent symptoms and provide long-lasting relief.

Talk to your doctor to determine the best asthma action plan for your child.

Downloadable resources

Community events

Asthma 411: How COVID-19 has impacted kids with asthma and their families

1 hour (Virtual - Zoom)

An annual educational event for those participating in Asthma 411. Learning objectives: Describe the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on asthma patients in Fort Worth. Identify red flags for students with asthma. Discuss communication between school nurses and primary care providers. Identify the importance of interprofessional collaboration amongst the healthcare team.

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Asthma 411: Addressing Exercise Induced Asthma

1.5 hour (Virtual - Zoom)

An annual educational event for those participating in Asthma 411. Learning objectives: Identify signs and symptoms of respiratory distress in asthma. Discuss asthma 411 standing delegation order algorithm. Understand pulse oximetry and the pathophysiology of hypoxemia in asthma.

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