Pediatric Asthma Program

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Lurie Children’s treats more children with asthma than any other area hospital or medical center. Our asthma program brings together pulmonary and allergy experts to collaborate on treatment and provide world-class care for children and adolescents. Our goal is to work with families to help minimize the effect of asthma on children by creating treatment plans to prevent symptoms and effectively respond to symptoms when they occur.

In 2010 and 2011, Lurie Children’s was recognized as a Top Performer in The Joint Commission’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures™ program. Lurie Children’s made the list for achieving excellence on its accountability measures in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for children’s asthma. Lurie Children’s is recognized on The Joint Commission’s consumer-targeted Quality Check website.

About Asthma

Watch the video below for more information about what asthma is and its causes.

For additional information and videos about how asthma is treated and how to properly use treatment devices, visit our asthma page.

The Lurie Children's Difference

We believe in family-centered care, which means we involve the whole family in your child’s treatment plan. From bringing family members into care plan meetings, to providing support and distraction to a patient’s siblings, we do our best to help fit our care within your lifestyle.

Working together, we can create a home management plan to help your child stay healthy and lead an active lifestyle. Education is an important element of the plan, and we help you prepare all caregivers to respond to symptoms when necessary.

What to Expect

We will work with your family to develop a detailed asthma treatment plan to prevent symptoms and respond to symptoms when they occur. Together, we can identify triggers; develop action plans to avoid triggers; and create response plans to treat mild, moderate and severe symptoms. Once your child has been diagnosed with asthma, your child's physician will prescribe medications to control their symptoms. This plan may change over time as your child grows and changes.

Two types of asthma medication are common: controllers to prevent symptoms and relievers to treat symptoms when they occur. Controller medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids or leukotriene inhibitors, decrease the swelling and inflammation in the airways. Controller medications can be given by inhaling them from a nebulizer, a metered dose inhaler or a dry powder inhaler.

Anti-IgE therapy may be used for those with more severe asthma. Anti-IgE therapy is administered by injection by a specialist and binds allergic antibodies to decrease allergic causes of inflammation in the lungs.

Reliever medications, such as bronchodilators, open up narrow airways by relaxing the muscles that constrict them. Bronchodilators relieve coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and the feeling of tightness in the chest. These medications work best when taken in the inhaled form, either by nebulizer or metered dose inhaler. 

Learn more about these treatments and watch videos to see how they're administered.

Our Specialists

Our pulmonary medicine and allergy and immunology divisions work hand in hand to provide the highest-quality care to children with asthma. Our integrated team of physicians, pediatric nurse practitioners and pediatric nursing staff seamlessly coordinate to provide care and treatment plans. Program leadership is provided by Mary Nevin, MD , Attending Physician, Pulmonary Medicine. Dr. Nevin is board-certified in pediatric pulmonology and pediatrics.


If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®).


Conditions We Treat


Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at or call 312.227.7500