Children with asthma too often keep quiet during doctor’s office visits and let their parents speak for them, studies say.

This can sometimes lead to a disconnect. Parents may describe their child’s asthma symptoms or quality of life in worse terms than they actually are.

It’s important that children be active participants – alongside their parents – when going to the doctor and “talk freely” about their asthma.

One way to encourage your child to speak up? Before the appointment, ask your child to come up with a list of questions or concerns about their asthma management. Then pose questions the doctor may ask.

Here are some conversation-starters:

  • “My asthma flares up during exercise.” – This indicates that symptoms are not well controlled.
  • “My symptoms are worse when I’m outside or indoors.” – Allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites or pet dander could be the cause.
  • “I’m missing too much school because of my asthma.” – Children under the care of a board-certified allergist see a 77 percent reduction in school absences due to asthma.
  • My asthma has gone away. Can I stop taking medication?” – There is no cure for asthma, so even if symptoms are no longer bothersome, continue to use medication as prescribed.
  • “I feel left out of activities because of my asthma.” — Anyone with asthma should be able to feel well and be active. No one should accept less.