Your child’s chest muscles are pulling in with each breath.
Your child is breathing faster than 50 to 60 breaths per minute (when not crying).
Your child is making a grunting noise.
Your child is sitting with shoulders hunched over.
Your child’s skin, nails, gums, or lips are a bluish or grayish color.
The area around your child’s eyes is a bluish or grayish color.
Your child is very, very tired.
Your child is not moving around very much.
Your child has a limp or floppy body.
Your child’s nostrils are flaring out when they are breathing.
Also call the doctor if your child:
Loses their appetite
Has trouble sleeping
Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. Rockville, MD. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2007. NIH publications 08-4051.
Lemanske RF Jr, Mauger DT, Sorkness CA, Jackson DJ, Boehmer SJ, Martinez FD, et al. Step-up therapy for children with uncontrolled asthma receiving inhaled corticosteroids. N Engl J Med. 2010 Mar 18;362(11):975-85.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.