Know the Symptoms of Childhood Asthma

Childhood asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses of kids. Asthma is the most common reason for missing school, and experts say 4 million children under the age of 18 have had an asthma attack in the past 12 months. It is important to know the symptoms of childhood asthma, so you can get your child to a doctor as soon as possible. Some symptoms can be obvious while others are more subtle and here are some items to consider:

Wheezing

This high-pitched breathing noise is most noticeable when the child breaths in and out. One of the most common symptoms of childhood asthma, the wheezing can be mild to severe. Mucus builds up in the already restricted airways, making the effort to breathe a struggle.

Coughing

Some afflicted with childhood asthma will never wheeze. A small percentage will just have a persistent cough, especially late at night. The only symptom of about 5 percent of asthmatic kids will be a cough. Also, if a child coughs a lot after running or crying, he might have asthma.

Frequent Respiratory Infections

A child who suffered from frequent and hard-to-treat respiratory infections, like pneumonia and bronchitis, might have childhood asthma. Sometimes you child just might be afflicted with cold-like symptoms that are persistent. These illnesses attack already vulnerable lungs and may cause even more damage.

Inactivity or Being Lethargic

A child who used to be active but now has no interest in running or playing sports may be showing signs childhood asthma. Shortness of breath and tightness in the chest may be the reason the child no longer wants to exert himself. In young children, tightness in the chest may cause irritability as well.

Some children may have all these symptoms or just one. Some childhood asthma symptoms may repeat themselves quite frequently or just every now and then. It’s up to the parents to recognize the pattern of symptoms. By doing so you’ll be able to recognize an attack as it’s just starting to happen and help lessen the severity.

More importantly, by keeping track of these symptoms and telling your child’s doctor, you can help him develop a plan for battling childhood asthma. He’ll have a better idea of what kinds of medicines and treatments your child will need. Remember though, as the child gets older, his symptoms might change or become more or less severe. Different treatment might be needed at different ages.