Programs & Centers


Asthma Treatment Program

Asthma is the most common chronic disease for children, and the number-one cause of hospital admissions during childhood. Up to 80 percent of children with asthma develop symptoms before age five, including:

  • Coughing at night or after exercise
  • Feeling out of breath after exercise
  • Coughing for several weeks after a cold
  • Wheezing sounds detectable with a stethoscope, if not by ear.

The Bronx has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Thousands of these children are rushed to hospitals for emergency treatment every year.

Working with families, for greater control

CHAM's Asthma Center is committed to preventing these hospitalizations. Our pediatric respiratory specialists, and other team members, take a unique family-centered approach to asthma, treating it primarily as the controllable condition that it often is.

Asthma causes your child's lungs and airways to become more sensitive than normal. When irritated, these tissues become inflamed and swollen. At that point, asthma sufferers simply can't get the air they need, and their bodies work harder and harder to compensate. Common triggers include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust and mold
  • Pets
  • Viruses
  • Exercise
  • Environmental conditions

There is no single test for asthma. However, we can diagnose it by taking your child's history, performing a physical examination, and conducting lung-function and/or exercise tests. Parents and other caregivers play an important role—their observations help us make an accurate diagnosis, and set up effective treatment.

If asthma is identified, we work with all caregivers to develop a management plan. The goal is to help children and their families identify triggers, avoid full-fledged asthma attacks (and the damage they cause), and enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Our asthma treatment plans often include environmental management (such as  a smoke-free environment) and daily medication to protect the child's lungs. We also arrange for rapidly acting medication to be on hand in case of an attack. 

Asthma and Obesity: We offer a special program for asthmatic children who are obese. Physical activity (that the child actually enjoys!) promotes weight loss and reduces the severity of their asthma attacks.

Our team is able to identify the causes of exercise limitation by monitoring your child's pulmonary and cardiac function at maximum exercise. We can then design a treatment plan that meets their individual needs.

Asthma and the Community: We are actively involved in community programs that improve access to care for children with asthma.

State-of-the-art equipment for pulmonary function testing (PFT)

 We are one of only two centers in the New York metropolitan area equipped to perform PFTs on infants. Our laboratory offers a comprehensive evaluation of respiratory conditions for children of all ages, including:

  • Asthma
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Cystic fibrosis

PFTs are important for monitoring the effects of different therapies, and tailoring them to fit each child. Our team also collaborates with other CHAM divisions, providing PFTs for pre-surgical evaluations and the routine monitoring of chemotherapy.