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Pediatric Asthma

Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disease in which the airways become sensitive to allergens (any substance that triggers an allergic reaction). When a child is exposed to certain triggers:

  • The lining of the airways become swollen and inflamed
  • Muscles that surround the airways tighten
  • Production of mucus is increased, leading to mucus plugs

All of these factors will cause the airways to narrow, thus making it difficult for air to go in and out of your child’s lungs, causing the symptoms of asthma.

Pediatric Asthma Care at Children’s National

Children’s National is a focal point of acute asthma care in the Washington, D.C., area. In fact, Children’s takes care of 1 percent of all the pediatric patients seen in emergency departments for acute asthma care every year in the entire nation. We use a patient- and family-focused clinical care pathway for acute care that uses the latest advances in breathing treatments, all delivered by a dedicated team of pediatric nurses, respiratory therapists and emergency medicine physicians. Children’s has an array of services available for patients with acute asthma, ranging from short stay units to intensive care. 

Learn more about asthma in children:


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Frequently Asked Questions

Facts about Asthma

Facts about asthma in children

What causes asthma in children?

What are the symptoms of asthma in a child?

Who is at risk for developing asthma?

What happens during an asthma attack or asthma exacerbation in a child?

How do you assess a child for asthma?

What causes childhood asthma?

Do children outgrow childhood asthma?

What are the triggers that can cause an asthma attack?

How to avoid asthma triggers in a child


Treatment for asthma in children

Managing asthma in children

Four components of asthma treatment in children

What is a peak flow meter?

Why should a peak flow meter be used for asthma in children?

How to use a peak flow meter for managing asthma for your child

What are peak flow zones?

How is your child's personal best peak flow measured?

When should a peak flow meter be used to manage my child's asthma?

How can I obtain a peak flow meter to manage my child's asthma?

What are oximeters?

What is a spirometer?

Asthma Treatment at Children's National Hospital

The award-winning IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic is dedicated to improving asthma care through coordination with your child's primary care provider, school nurse and others involved your child's asthma care. Discover more about the treatment we offer.

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Providers Who Treat Asthma

Departments that Treat Asthma

Respiratory Care Services

A dedicated team of nearly 100 professionals provides respiratory care services around the clock for outpatients and inpatients at Children's National Hospital. Our therapists excel in the field for their technical knowledge as well as their expertise in working with kids.

Sickle Cell Pulmonary Clinic

Children's National has one the largest and most active pediatric sickle cell programs in the country.

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Critical Care Medicine

With the only pediatric, cardiac and neuro-intensive care units in the immediate Washington, D.C., area, Children's National Hospital is the region's leading provider of critical care medicine for seriously ill and injured infants and children.