Buster's Big Breath

Dealing with asthma can be challenging. Here are some resources, games, and videos to help. Kids with asthma can lead active, healthy lives — just ask Buster!

The Basics

Background Information

Asthma is a common disease that can make breathing very difficult. There is no cure for asthma, but with proper care and the right medicine, kids with asthma can lead active, and healthy lives. Asthma can be a lifelong illness but it can be managed.

What happens during an asthma attack?

During an asthma attack, the walls of the airways inside the lungs swell up. When airways become narrow and clogged, less air can flow through them. This is what makes it hard to breathe. It can be pretty scary for your child — and you. Knowing what's going on will help everyone calm down and deal with the attack.

Talk to your doctor.

Check with your doctor if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • Wheezing or a whistling noise made while breathing.
  • A cough that just won't stop, especially at night, after exercise, or in cold weather.
  • Shortness of breath, especially when exercising.

"I have Asthma, and It's O.K."

Buster's Asthma Rap

 

 

Tips for Grown-ups

Know the asthma "triggers."

 

Asthma attacks can be caused by many things. Once you and your child know these "triggers," you can find ways to avoid them.

  • Avoid exposing children to secondhand smoke.
  • Vacuum often to get rid of dust and dust mites(tiny bugs that live in ordinary dust).
  • Wash sheets, blankets, and stuffed toys often to help keep dust mites away.
  • Keep pets off furniture and out of rooms where kids sleep.
  • Keep things clean and dry around the house to stop mold and mildew from growing.
  • Remove house plants, which may trigger asthma or contain mold.
  • Clean up crumbs and spilled food to keep insects, such as cockroaches, away.
  • Allergies (like hay fever) may set off asthma, so make sure kids take their anti-allergy meds.
  • Have your child avoid cleaning products, perfume, or other strong smells and pollution(like car fumes).

Print out this Asthma Treatment Plan and have your doctor help you fill it out. Bring it to school, camp, or friends' homes where your child may play or sleep over. 

PRINT ACTIVITY

Encourage exercise.

 

Kids whose asthma is under control can play sports and keep active.


  • Exercise helps strengthen lungs, which makes asthma attacks less likely.



  • Activities that include a warm-up, a cool-down, and short rest periods (like swimming, baseball, football, dancing) — so that kids can catch their breath — are especially good.



  • Kids should carry their quick-relief medicine to use right before activities or during their play.



Help kids take control.

 

 

If children understand what causes asthma and what they can do to manage it, they will feel less anxious and better prepared. Help your child to:

  • Take their daily medicine. Controller medications help children have fewer and milder attacks.
  • Use a spray inhaler when needed. Quick relief medications control the symptoms of an asthma attack.
  • Take additional medicine before activities that might trigger asthma attacks (such as exercising or cold weather), as directed by your doctor.
  • Learn about triggers and how to avoid them.
  • Practice speaking up in order to avoid a situation that may cause an asthma attack.
  • Use their peak flow meter to check their breathing.


"Buster's Breathless"

Buster's Breathless

 

Tips for Kids

Coping with Asthma

  

 

 

Hi, I'm Buster.

I have asthma. Sometimes the airways in my lungs swell up, and it's hard for me to breathe.​

 


You can't catch asthma from anyone, so it's perfectly safe to play with me. I'm still the same old Buster!



Certain things, like dust, make my asthma act up. Other things, like cigarette smoke and pet hair, can also cause asthma attacks. It's important to know what makes your asthma worse and stay away from those things.


Even though I have asthma I can still do all the regular kid stuff, like play soccer, eat pizza, and hang out with my friends. I just need to take my medicine and follow my doctor's directions. It's no big deal!


Print out this coloring sheet to learn all about asthma with Buster. 

PRINT ACTIVITY

Asthma Quiz : Test your knowledge of asthma facts!

Can you catch asthma?

  • Sometimes
  • Never
  • Always

What can be a trigger for asthma?

  • TV
  • Alphabet Soup
  • Pollen

How many people in the U.S. have asthma?

  • 19 Million
  • About 45,000
  • Just me and a few other kids

If I have asthma, can I play sports?

  • Never!
  • Very Unlikely
  • Yes!

How can I avoid having an asthma attack?

  • You have to stay in bed.
  • You avoid things that set it off.
  • You can't avoid an asthma attack.

If you are having asthma symptoms, who should you tell?

  • A parent, teacher, coach, or school nurse.
  • Friends who live far away
  • Nobody, it will go away by itself.

Is there a cure for asthma?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes, but it's very expensive.

Who can help me with my asthma?

  • Just me
  • No one
  • Doctors and Nurses

How would I know if my asthma is getting bad?

  • Your hair becomes very curly
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Spots like the chicken pox

Which of Arthur's friends has asthma?

  • Buster
  • Binky
  • Francine