Adolescent Health in Texas

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Welcome to Maternal & Child Health’s Adolescent Health website.

While adolescents are generally healthy, substance abuse and other risky behaviors can be common problems. These health issues can have long-term effects. Follow these links to learn more:


What’s New
Important Numbers
Positive Youth Development
For Health Care Providers
Related Sites
Texas Healthy Adolescent Initiative
Sexual Violence Prevention  

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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease. It is the most common long-term chronic disease in children. Over 539,000 or 7.9 percent of children in Texas currently have asthma.  


In 2013, about 1 in 2 children with asthma reported missing at least 1 day of school each year because of asthma. In 2016, over 19,000 children aged 10-17 visited an emergency department due to asthma. Managing or controlling asthma can help prevent this from happening.  

Asthma Management Goals:

Actions for preventing and controlling asthma are below:


  • Prevent recurring asthma attacks which reduces the need for emergency department visits or hospitalizations;
  • Prevent loss of lung function; and
  • Provide optimal medications to prevent and control asthma with minimal negative effects.


  • Prevent chronic and troublesome symptoms;
  • Reduce the frequency and need for short-acting medications for quick relief of symptoms;
  • Maintain normal lung function; and
  • Maintain normal activity levels and attendance at school and work.

(Adapted from the NHLBI NAEPP EPR-3 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma)

People with controlled asthma can:

  • Prevent on-going symptoms
  • Reduce use of quick-relief medication
  • Maintain breathing ability, maintain normal activity levels. 

They can also reduce asthma attacks and prevent loss of lung function.

Asthma can be managed by:

  • Assessing asthma control
  • Monitoring symptoms
  • Taking medicines as directed
  • Avoiding known asthma triggers

An asthma action plan is a tool to help self-manage asthma. It is developed with the patient, caregiver and doctor.

It provides guidance on:

  • How to use medicines
  • Asthma triggers to avoid
  • How to respond to worsening symptoms
  • When to call the doctor
  • When to seek emergency care

DSHS has sample asthma action-plans on their website.

As youth get older, they can take a bigger role in managing their asthma. The American Lung Association has several videos to show youth how to use their asthma medications  

To learn more about asthma, visit the new DSHS asthma website.

MCH believes that youth and family input is vital to program success in the community. Please send questions or comments to us!

For more information, please contact us at:  

Texas Department of State Health Services
Maternal & Child Health
PO Box 149347, Mail Code 1922
Austin, TX 78714-9347
(512) 776-7373: Phone
(512) 458-7658: Fax


External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These external links may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information about Maternal and Child Health or information regarding adolescent health in Texas, please email or call (512) 776-7373.


Last updated April 30, 2019