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This calculator is for children with asthma. If you know how tall your child is, you can find out what his or her personal best peak flow value is. Peak flow is how fast your child breathes out air after taking a deep breath. Your child's peak flow tells you and your child's doctor how well your child's lungs are working.
You need to know your child's personal best peak flow number to help control your child's asthma. This number is part of your child’s Asthma Action Plan.
Changes from your child's personal best can help you see how well your child's asthma is under control. These changes also can let you know when your child needs medicine and when your child needs medical care.
If you don't know how to find your child's personal best peak flow, click here for an
Note: The calculator will only work if your child is at least 43 inches tall.
Your child's personal best peak flow number is the highest peak flow number your child can measure 2 to 4 times every day over 2 to three weeks. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you if you need to measure peak flow for longer than 2 weeks.
It is very important to know what your child’s "baseline" peak flow is. This baseline is done when your child is feeling well and his or her asthma is in good control. Good control means your child doesn't currently have any symptoms of asthma.
Each child's asthma is different. And each child’s personal best peak flow number is different. Children's peak flow numbers typically vary by height. But even among children of the same height, weight, and sex, peak flow numbers can be different.
Here's how to find out your child's personal best peak flow number:
Keep a chart of your child's peak flow measurements. Share this with your child's healthcare provider during routine checkups and as needed.
Be sure to clean the peak flow meter. Follow the meter's cleaning instructions. Dirt collected in the meter may not give a correct peak flow measurement. Germs or mucus can get inside the peak flow meter if your child has a cold or other respiratory infection. That’s why it's important to keep the meter clean.
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Because your child's height is , his or her estimated peak flow is .
Asthma is a complicated disease. Making sure that your child’s asthma is under control is a team effort. Your child and his or her caregivers are important team members.
One of the key parts of controlling asthma is having an Asthma Action Plan. You will develop this plan with the help of your child’s doctor. Each person who cares for your child will need to have a copy of this plan. The plan is just for your child. Don’t use a plan created for someone else.
An Asthma Action Plan gives step-by-step instructions on what to do if your child has asthma symptoms. The plan helps reduce or prevent asthma flare-ups. It also helps keep your child out of the ER and the hospital. The plan tells you and your child what symptoms to watch for. It tells you how to treat those symptoms right away. This will also help stop flare-ups from getting worse. The plan will also tell you when to seek emergency care.
Part of your child’s Asthma Action Plan is watching his or her peak flow. You need to know how to use a peak flow meter. You also need to know what to do based on the meter’s readings.
Check your child's peak flow measurement when the following symptoms appear, unless your child's healthcare provider tells you otherwise:
Talk with your child's doctor before measuring your child's personal best peak flow number. He or she may have other instructions or suggestions, based on your child's condition. Also show the provider how you or your child uses the peak flow meter. This will help you be certain that you are using correctly.
Your child’s Asthma Action Plan tells you what the values should be for your child's Green, Yellow and Red Zones. These zones tell you how much your child's daily peak flow differs from his or her personal best. It is important to follow your child’s Asthma Action Plan when his or her peak flow measurement falls in each of these zones. Always follow your child's Asthma Action Plan when acting on your child's peak flow measurements.
Here is a breakdown of each zone:
Note: The numbers may be different for children ages 5 to 11. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider to find what peak flow ranges are normal. Follow the peak flow instructions in your child’s Asthma Action Plan.
This calculator is not intended to replace the evaluation of a healthcare professional.
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