Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How closely should I monitor my daughter's asthma?"
My daughter has had asthma for a long time and has gotten to the point where she can manage it on her own, but should I still participate?
The decision when to transition control of management of chronic health issues is one of the most important ones in pediatrics. I have most commonly encountered this problem in diabetes and asthma, but it can occur in any pediatric chronic disease. In order for your daughter to take control of her asthma management, your daughter should meet a few basic criteria. First, she should be healthy enough to manage her problems on her own. If your daughter has very severe asthma requiring intubations or hospitalizations in the past, it is a good idea to monitor her usage of controller medications much more closely, as these medicines have been shown to decrease the likelihood of severe and potentially life-threatening asthma exacerbations. Second, she should show interest in managing her health problems on her own. If she is not requesting to manage her asthma medications on her own, she is probably not ready. Finally, she should be able to describe to you each medication and how it is used, so you know she will be using them properly. This is best done in a doctor's office, so they can help ensure she is using the medications correctly (asthma inhalers, while easy to use, are not easy to use correctly!) The decision to let your daughter take control of her medication is an important step in her transition to adulthood, and will help give her a sense of ownership over her condition that will be critical to success managing this condition as an adult. I would suggest you make an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss this issue altogether, as they will be able to give valuable insight into your individual case.
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