By taking a few important steps, you can control your asthma and avoid things that trigger an attack.

1.  See your asthma doctor at least twice a year when you feel well — don’t wait until you are sick.

2.  You have a great doctor. Talk with him about how you feel. This will help him know if your medicine needs to be changed.

3.  Create an Asthma Action Plan with your parents and your doctor. This will explain what to do when:

  • You are feeling well
  • You are showing signs of asthma and should be watched
  • It’s an emergency and you should be taken to the hospital
  • Here’s an example of an Asthma Action Plan in English and in Spanish.

4. Take your medicine when you are supposed to. There are two kinds of medicines that treat asthma:

  • Quick-relief or ‘rescue’ medications that help right away
  • Long-term controller medications that need to be taken all the time

5.  Make sure you know how to use your inhaler. Your doctor or nurse will show you and your mom or dad the right way to use your inhaler. To see kids doing it, click on the orange square — How To Use Your Inhaler — on the right side of this page.

6. Reduce asthma triggers in your house. Triggers are things that can cause an asthma attack. Many of these triggers are in your house. When you and your family get rid of them, you will feel much better. To learn how to clean your house to take away triggers, click on the light green square — How To Asthma-Proof Your House — on the right side of this page.

You know that smoking and breathing in second-hand smoke is bad for you. If you have asthma, it’s really bad. Why? Cigarette smoke makes your asthma worse by irritating your airways. This makes them start to close. When you smoke, your asthma will not get much better.

1. Smoking and breathing in second-hand smoke make asthma attacks happen more often.

2. Smoking lines your lungs with tar, which damages them for the rest of your life.

3. If you smoke, your lungs don’t work as well. That makes sports and other activities even harder.

Breathing in other people’s smoke can be just as bad for you as smoking yourself. It can be really hard if someone in your family or your friends smoke. If you have asthma, it’s very important to speak up and let people know that their smoke can hurt you. Here are some things you can say to people who are smoking around you:

1. Tell them how their smoking makes your asthma worse. They may not even know what they’re doing to you.

2. Ask them not to smoke when you are in their car or eating with them.

3. Ask them to give up smoking. Remember: this might be very hard for them. Some kids ask their parents to quit smoking for their birthday present.

4. If they cannot quit, ask them to smoke outside instead.

5.  If that is not possible, make sure you have a place, like your bedroom, that is kept smoke-free.

English Spanish