Asthma is a disease that affects your child's lungs. It causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. It’s unknown what causes asthma, but some things can make it worse. Triggers include things in the air, like pollen and dust mites, mold, pollution, tobacco smoke and other illnesses.
Take these important steps to help your child breathe better with asthma:
- Schedule annual health screening/checkup visits.
- If your child takes medicine for asthma, make sure they take it exactly as directed, even if they are feeling better.
- Make sure your child stays away from asthma triggers that could cause an attack.
- Ask your child's doctor to help you come up with a plan for when an asthma attack happens.
- Talk with your child's doctor about their symptoms and treatment options.
- Use our Find a Provider tool for help finding a provider.
Sunshine Health can help connect you to services and supports to help with your child's asthma. Here are some benefits you may qualify for:
- Asthma Disease Management Program – Education and personal help from Sunshine Health staff. Learn more about the health risks, triggers and treatments of asthma. Call Member Services for information.
- Respiratory Services – Services that treat conditions, illnesses or diseases of the lungs or respiratory system. Prior authorization may be required.
- Includes: Medically necessary respiratory testing, respiratory surgical procedures and respiratory device management.
- Respiratory Therapy Services – For members ages 0-20. Treatment to help your child breathe better while being treated for a respiratory condition, illness or disease.
- Includes: One initial evaluation each year, one therapy reevaluation every 6 months, up to 210 minutes of therapy treatments per week (max 60 minutes per day).
- Carpet Cleaning – Services to reduce allergens in the home. Benefit allowed by household and based on diagnosis. Contact Member Services about eligibility.
- Includes: Two carpet cleanings per year.
- HEPA Filter Vacuum Cleaner – Provided vacuum cleaner with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to trap pollutants. Must be diagnosed with asthma. Contact Member Services about eligibility.
- Includes: One vacuum per member’s lifetime.
- Hypoallergenic Bedding – Allowance to buy hypoallergenic bedding. Contact Member Services about eligibility.
Smoking is a major trigger for asthma. Members ages 10 and up can earn up to $20 for completing tobacco cessation health coaching sessions. Members must:
- Submit a consent form signed by a parent/guardian
- Verbally pledge to stop using tobacco
- Complete four sessions within six months
Learn more about Healthy Rewards.
- Asthma Action Plan: Having a plan to care for your child's asthma can make the condition feel less scary. Use this Asthma Action Plan (PDF).
- Asthma Diary: Learn more about asthma and how your child can live more comfortably. Use the Asthma Diary (PDF) to keep track of doctor visits, medications and triggers that make your symptoms worse.
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Free, online community for asthma and allergic diseases. Post in support forums, follow topics, connect with other members and more. Free. Available in English and Spanish.
- DirectHome Medical: Order low-cost asthma therapy products right to your home.
- American Lung Association: Free, online community offering peer-to-peer support for people living with asthma. Search for specific topics to find other members who share your interests.
- American Lung Association Lung Helpline: Speak to a lung health expert about your child's asthma questions. They can educate, coach and counsel on a range of topics and connect you to local and online education systems, support groups, providers and medical equipment resources. Call 1-800-586-4872. Spanish interpreters available onsite, and phone interpretation service provided for more than 240 languages.
- The Assistance Fund: Apply for financial assistance with asthma care and supplies. Apply online or call 1-855-845-3663. Contact a Patient Advocate if you need help with the application form.
- Visit the Krames Health Library to access thousands of health sheets on medications, conditions and more. Visit the Community Resource Database to get connected with programs and supports in your area that can help with food, shelter, education, jobs and more.