7 Signs Your Child Has Asthma
Asthma can be difficult to diagnose in children. Not only are many of the symptoms of childhood asthma quite subtle, but children are often unsure of how to communicate the feelings they’re experiencing, so you may not even be aware of some of their symptoms at all. If your child has been having breathing troubles, and you’re worried they might have asthma, here are a few signs to be on the lookout for. And if you’re ever concerned about your child’s health, you should always contact your pediatrician for professional medical advice.
Frequent Coughing Episodes
As a parent, you know that kids can get sick—a lot. They seem to catch every bug that anyone in a five-mile radius has. So, you might not think much of it if your child has a bit of a cough. But if your child’s coughing episodes have been popping up regularly for a long time, then you should probably start paying closer attention to them.
Look for coughing fits triggered by exercise or exposure to cold air. If your child has no other indicators of a respiratory infection, but they’re still having these coughing fits, it may be asthma that’s causing it.
Delayed Recovery from Illness
Speaking of sick kids, if your child does have a viral infection and it seems to stick around forever, that could be another indicator of childhood asthma. Kids with asthma have a harder time recovering from respiratory infections due to the inflammation in the lungs and airways. A simple cold may even progress into bronchitis or pneumonia because of their asthma. So, if your kid has been sick all winter long, you may want to talk to their doctor.
Yes, we know, getting your child to sleep is one of the never-ending struggles of being a parent. And while there’s not much we can do for your baby’s sleep regression, you should pay attention to what might be causing your older child to wake up in the middle of the night. If your child is waking up due to coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, odds are high that it’s asthma keeping them—and you—awake.
Wheezing or Whistling
If you’re concerned about your child having asthma, take some time to listen to their breathing at various points of the day. You want to listen for a wheezing or whistling sound when they exhale. If you’re hearing this even when they’re not sick, then something is wrong. Try listening to their breathing when they’re asleep, relaxing at home, and immediately after physical exertion to see if you can pick up on the sound at any point.
Quickly Tiring during Play
Your kid should be full of seemingly boundless energy. They should be able to run and jump and play with their friends without much trouble. If your kid seems to tire more quickly than their friends, or has trouble breathing when engaged in physical play, this may be due to asthma. The inflammation in their airways can make it difficult for kids with asthma to get enough oxygen into their lungs when they’re playing, causing them to tire much more quickly.
Tightness in the Chest
This is one of those symptoms that may be hard for you to catch, because your child may not know how to describe the feeling. You might have to learn about it by asking the right questions of them. For example, when they seem to be having trouble breathing after running around for a while, as them if their chest hurts, or if it feels like someone is pushing on their chest when they try to breathe. Hearing you describe the sensation to them may make it easier for your child to understand what it is they’re feeling.
As mentioned earlier, kids can and should be very energetic. Asthmatic kids, however, are often more prone to fatigue—and not just during active play either. This can be caused by the poor sleep, as we mentioned earlier, but it can also be caused by a lower oxygen supply as well. If your kid tends to be more lethargic than seems normal, speak to their doctor about it.
It’s important to catch childhood asthma as earlier as possible so that your child can get the right treatment. While there’s no cure for asthma, and your child may have the condition throughout their life, proper treatment can manage their symptoms and allow them to have a normal life. If your kid is diagnosed with asthma, stop by one of our many Texas locations and take a look at our pediatric nebulizers, which make treating asthma simpler, easier, and more fun for kids.