Learn About Childhood Asthma Early
and Stop Problems Sooner

Childhood asthma is a respiratory condition that many parents should know about. It causes the lung airways of young children to swell and produce extra mucous. The thickened mucus fills the tubes and eventually causes trouble breathing.

There are more occurrences of this disease today than in years past. It is the number one chronic illness in children and can be dangerous for your child.

Although the disease cannot be cured, it can be controlled with asthma management.

The Effects Of Asthma On Children

Childhood asthma is a disease that troubles many young people worldwide. It is the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and missed school days.

Asthma basically is a respiratory condition in which the immune system overreacts to certain pollutants or allergens in the air, food, or water. The airways of the lungs swell and constrict air flow into the body. 

If this should happen, your child may experience the classic symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

Although many kids with asthma can breathe normally between asthma attacks, they should be monitored for any problems during strenuous activities. It is more evident during physical activities such as sports or dance recitals.

Top Triggers That Lead To Breathing Problems

Asthma is part hereditary (transferred by the parents) and part environmental. When a child has a family history of asthma, then there is a higher risk of the child acquiring it. Certain allergies and environmental factors such as smoke increase the chance of having it. 

Triggers, just like signs and symptoms, vary from one child to the next. Although there are too many to list, there are some that are more common than others. The more common triggers are:

  • viral infections
  • tobacco smoke
  • dust mites
  • pet dander
  • mold
  • pollen
  • environmental pollutants
  • exercise

Cold air or weather changes tend to trigger reactions because they seem to fill the air with foreign particles that your child’s immune system may response to. Spring and winter can be particular difficult.

But the good news is that it is not automatically transferred from a parent to a child. If you or a member of your family has this breathing problem, you will have to monitor your child closely. It may show while your child is running or playing or with the change of seasons. 

Common Signs and Symptoms Of Childhood Asthma 

Many children start to show symptoms of asthma around the age of five. The most common signs of childhood asthma are wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness or congestion in the chest. 

  • Wheezing – Wheezing is a low whistling noise that may happen when a child struggles to take in air. It happens when the lungs are swollen and air has to pass through a narrow passageway. Not every wheezing incident is necessarily caused by asthma. Infections from bronchitis or other respiratory problems sometimes mimic asthma symptoms, making it difficult to know the underlying cause. 
  • Coughing – Chronic coughing is an indication that the lungs are irritated. Eventually the aggravated lungs will become exhausted and not function properly. And this is when breathing problems occur. While the occasional cough from a cold is not worrisome, a chronic cough that last more than a week should be examined. 
  • Chest Tightness – While a child usually cannot verbalize this condition, he or she may complaint that the chest hurts or he or she cannot catch a breath. This will result in decreased activity or an inability to run or play. 
  • Other Symptoms - Advanced symptoms may include trouble sleeping due to the decreased oxygen intake, coughing that worsens when the child has a cold or the flu, and trouble eating. This includes becoming easily fatigued when playing. 

Battling The Dangerous Symptoms Of Asthma

Another common sign of childhood asthma is the inability to bounce back quickly after an illness. Children with this condition tend to take longer to recover from an illness, often ending up with a respiratory infection as well. They also may develop inflamed sinus, chronic stuffy or runny nose, and heartburn.

Children with this condition tend to have less energy or avoid physical activities that require increased breathing.

The more dangerous signs are deep and rapid breathing, decreased alertness (or lethargy) and cyanosis (a bluish coloring of the skin due to lack of oxygen).  This is an emergency situation and warrants a visit to the emergency.

Do not hesitate because breathing is a critical situation and requires immediate care. 

If your child shows any of these symptoms then he or she should be examined by a doctor. Although it may seem troublesome at first, asthma is a treatable disease. While it cannot be cured, there are treatments that your child can use to keep it under control. With the right asthma management plan, your child can have a healthy life. 

Asthma Is Manageable With The Right Treatment Plan

The one good thing about asthma is that it can be controlled. Asthma can be managed with diagnosis, ongoing education and treatment.

If your child has asthma, you can minimize symptoms with the help of your doctor, caregivers and school staff members. It is a disease that should be monitored. But with the right support, it does not have to disturb the quality of your child’s health. 

Childhood asthma is a respiratory condition in which the immune system overreacts to certain pollutants or allergens in the air, food, or water.  If it is not managed properly, this illness can result in breathing difficulties and other problems that can be detrimental to a young toddler or developing adolescent. 

Signs and symptoms of asthma vary from child to child. Depending on the severity, some may exhibit all symptoms while others may only display one.

Thankfully, no matter the level of wheezing and coughing, there are medications and treatment plans that can help your child to breathe better.


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