In recent times, asthma has become the most common chronic illness in kids, and has become one of the main causes of missed school. Asthma is the inflammatory condition of bronchial airways, and it causes airway function to become over-reactive and excessive, producing more mucus, muscle contraction and mucosal swelling. This leads to airway obstruction, coughing, chest tightness and wheezing. In severe cases, it can cause shortness of breath and reduced level of blood oxygen.
Childhood Asthma Symptoms
Some of the most common childhood asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing and the whistling sounds when child exhales. Any child suffering from frequent respiratory infection or frequent coughing must be evaluated for asthma. Child who starts coughing after crying or running may also be suffering from asthma.
Shortness of breath and tightness in chest are other childhood asthma symptoms. If the child is young, the discomfort due to chest tightness may cause unexplained irritability. The child may complain of hurting chest or may just rub the chest. Infants who grunt during suckling or have trouble feeding may also have asthma.
Another childhood asthma symptom is inability of the child to exercise, or to stay active as compared to other kids of his age. The cough may seem to linger much longer as compared to other kids during cold, and the sleep often gets disrupted due to cough. Other childhood asthma symptoms include high pitched breathing sound, rapid breathing, exaggerated use of chest and neck muscle to assist breathing and prolonged exhaling. It is important for the parents to understand the childhood asthma symptoms so that appropriate medication can be given as per the severity level.
There are many childhood asthma causes such as hereditary, allergens, irritants in the air, household odors, metabisulfite, respiratory infections, emotional stress, exercise, weather conditions and medications.
Childhood asthma symptoms become worse during night as the body releases certain chemical during night, altering the lung function. The body’s temperature also drops during night causing airways to cool.
Certain factors such as indoor pets, mold or dust can make the asthma worse. It is very important that child is protected from the irritants, especially tobacco smoke. It is also advisable to get the periodic assessments done so that effectiveness of therapy and treatment can be adequately determined. For each child, the triggers for asthma are different, hence it is important to work with the doctor to determine the specific triggers for your child. Doctors usually suggest maintaining the asthma trigger diary so that the symptoms can be correlated with the triggers.