There are several warning signs to indicate when an asthma episode is about to occur. Symptoms often show in stages and range from subtle to more obvious.

Early Warning Signs that an Asthma Episode may be coming

Start Yellow Zone of your Asthma Action Plan (pdf)

  • Itchy throat
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Runny nose or sneezing
  • Waking up at night
  • Child has a cold
  • Weather is changing
  • Hives
Warning signs that an Asthma Episode may be coming

Give Quick Reliever, follow Asthma Action Plan for "What to do for an Asthma Episode"

  • Cough (especially at night)
  • Wheeze (a musical whistling sound with breathing)
  • A low number of your peak flow meter
  • Tight Chest
  • Heart beats fast
  • Tummy hurts (throwing up mucous)
  • Feel tired, child may become quiet and lay around
  • Head hurts
  • Waking up at night
  • Short of breath
  • Increased use of Quick Reliever
Danger Signs or symptoms of an Asthma Episode that is not getting better.

Seek medical attention, follow Red Zone on Asthma Action Plan (pdf)

  • Fast breathing
  • Sinking in around the ribs or at the neck
  • Blue or purple lips and/or fingernails
  • Cannot talk in sentences
  • Frequent use of Quick Reliever
  • Short of breath with walking
  • Short of breath at rest
  • Hard to breathe
  • Very low number on the peak flow meter
  • Nose flares or opens with breathing
If you have an Asthma Episode:
  • Stay calm and try to relax
  • Follow your Asthma Action Plan (pdf)
  • Do not drink a lot of water. Just drink normal amounts
  • Do not breath warm moist air from the shower
  • Do not breathe into a paper bag
  • Do not use over-the-counter medicine without calling the doctor first

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