Seven million children in the United States have asthma. Children with asthma often have symptoms before they turn five, and one in four children with allergies will develop asthma at some point. If your child has asthma, it means their airways become inflamed due to certain triggers, causing their airways to narrow and making it hard to breathe. Asthma is a chronic lung disease; it cannot be cured but can be controlled through avoidance of triggers, and with the help of medication and immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Symptoms in Children
Many things trigger asthma symptoms, including allergies to pollen, pets, or plants, smoke, extreme weather, or even strong emotions like laughing or crying. Your child could also be experiencing exercised induced asthma when running or playing hard.
Since children cannot always communicate, it can be up to parents to watch for symptoms. Common symptoms of asthma in children are:
- A cough that gets worse at night
- Wheezing or a whistling sound while breathing
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
How to diagnose?
Usually, asthma is diagnosed with an airflow PFT test, but children three and younger may not be able to complete the test. Family history also can help diagnose asthma; while it is not directly hereditary, it does seem to run in families.
Many of our providers are board-certified pediatricians in addition to being board-certified allergists. This specialized experience helps our doctors determine if your child has asthma. If diagnosed, our doctors will develop an asthma care plan with you to help your child manage their asthma.
Will my child outgrow his/her Asthma?
Asthma is a lifelong lung disorder. Many babies wheeze with viral respiratory diseases or colds and never develop asthma as the wheezing stops when they grow older. While your child’s asthma symptoms might decrease over time, many of these symptoms will resurface later on in life.
Our doctors believe that asthma should not limit your child in any way. Properly controlled asthma will allow them to play sports, sleep well, avoid missing school, and breath easily. Follow your asthma care plan, know what to watch for, and get regular check-ups to help your child manage their asthma.
Asthma and Schools
When working with one of our board-certified doctors, they will create an Asthma Care Plan you can share with your child’s school. Share this with your child’s teachers to help them better understand the severity of your child’s asthma. Provide your child’s teacher a list of triggers for your child’s asthma to help them when planning for activities. Working with the school personnel will help create a positive environment for your child and help you keep them in school and safe.
See the letter and more asthma resources in our Patient Center.
If you think your child suffers from asthma, don’t wait to get a medical diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Schedule an appointment with our board-certified physicians today.