On what signs and symptoms should a child use an inhaler?

Diana K. Blythe, MD

Inhalers for asthma come in two main types, rescue and controller. If the inhaler is a controller medicine, it should be used every day to keep the asthma under control. If the inhaler is a rescue medicine, it should be used when a child has asthma symptoms.

Among other things, acute asthma symptoms can include daytime or nighttime cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness, trouble breathing, wheezing or shortness of breath. If your child's asthma is showing these signs, continue using your child's daily controller medication and start using the rescue medication. If you are not sure which inhaler is the controller and which is the rescue, please call your child's doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.