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You can get asthma at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in childhood. Childhood asthma is very common. One in five Ontario children has asthma. Asthma is also the most common chronic childhood illness in North America. If you're the parent or a caregiver of a child with asthma, you probably have many questions. You can find answers here in this website, or by calling our Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).

If your child has asthma:

    • Find out what your child's asthma triggers are, and avoid them.

    • Learn how to use your child's asthma medicines and devices (inhalers, spacers) properly.

    • Keep the reliever inhaler (usually a blue inhaler) with your child at all times.

    • Get a written asthma action plan from your health care provider and ask how you can use it to manage your child's symptoms.

    • Explain to your child what asthma is, in a simple way. Explain how treating asthma will help get rid of symptoms. Underline how important it is to follow the asthma action plan.

    • Remember that having asthma doesn't mean your child can't exercise. As long as asthma is kept under control, your child should usually be able to exercise normally.


Make sure that anyone who takes care of your child knows about their asthma and what to do in an emergency. This can include teachers, school principal and staff, caregivers, grandparents, etc.

Your child's caregivers should be aware of the following:

    • What your child's usual asthma triggers are and how to avoid them

    • How to use your child's asthma action plan - give them a copy of the plan

    • How to monitor symptoms and what to do during an asthma attack

    • Where the emergency asthma inhaler is kept and how to use it - make sure it is always nearby

    • Emergency contact information for you and/or others

Your child's caregivers may notice asthma symptoms that you haven't seen yourself. Or the caregiver may see your child hesitating to participate in games and sports because of exercise induced asthma. Both of these can be signs that your child's asthma is out of control. Speak regularly with your child's teacher and caregivers to check if they have been noticing any asthma symptoms.

Read more about asthma at school by visiting Children with asthma can visit our KidsAsthma section for fun educational games.