Asthma and Children

Asthma and Children

Will my baby have asthma or allergy if one or both parents have it?

Your baby will not necessarily have asthma or allergies. However, a child is more likely to develop asthma or allergies if one parent has either; the risk is greater if both parents have allergy or asthma. You may delay the onset of eczema or food allergy by the diet recommendations under our pregnancy section; respiratory allergies may be delayed by not exposing your infant to indoor allergens and by carrying out house-dust mite avoidance measures in the nursery.  Do not expose your infant to smoke.


 When should an infant or child be referred to an asthma specialist?


Pediatric Asthma: Promoting Best Practice Guide for Managing Asthma in Children was developed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in consultation with the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  The following list paraphrases the  recommendations for referral to an asthma specialist made in these guidelines:

  • Life-threatening asthma episode and/or severe persistent asthma
  • Moderate or severe persistent asthma in a child under 3 years of age
  • More than two bursts of oral corticosteroids within 12 months, inhaled corticosteroids at high doses, or long-term oral corticosteroid use
  • Child is not responding to treatment or if asthma therapy goals have not been met in 3-6 months of treatment
  • Problems diagnosing asthma
  • Coexisting conditions such as rhinitis or sinusitis are complicating asthma treatment or diagnosis
  • More testing is needed such as breathing tests or allergy skin testing
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy) under consideration
  • Family in need of specialized education on asthma therapy, the role of the family carrying out the medical regimen, or environmental management of asthma triggers
  • Pediatric Asthma: Promoting Best Practice Guide for Managing Asthma in Children is a 1999 copyrighted publication of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.