Asthma can be scary at any age, but it’s especially difficult to watch a child suffer with restricted breathing. Knowing the signs of asthma in children is crucially important, especially for people who work with young populations, to identify asthma attacks and intervene as early as possible.
An asthma attack is basically inflammation of the airways caused by exposure to a trigger. Potential triggers include allergens like pollen and dust, catching a cold or virus, or exposure to cold weather. Children are especially susceptible to asthma attacks since they are typically more active than adults and spend more time outdoors.
The most common signs of asthma in a child include:
Frequent coughing is a primary symptom of an asthma attack. Coughing will be especially bad when playing or exercising, in cold air, and at night while sleeping.
A wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling is another tell-tale sign of asthma. Just like coughing, wheezing occurs more often during play, sleep, or cold weather.
Shortness of breath
As the airways constrict during an asthma attack, the child will begin having difficulty exhaling fully, or “catching” their breath.
Chest congestion and/or tightness
Airway constriction also causes a feeling of congestion or tightness in the chest. Some asthma sufferers compare this to feeling like something very heavy is sitting on their chests.
Sleep issues are primarily caused by the constant coughing that asthma brings on.
Delayed recovery after respiratory illnesses
Since asthma leads to prolonged airway inflammation, recovery from any respiratory illness is more difficult.
Often considered to be a side effect of poor sleep, which is caused by coughing and breathing issues, fatigue is a common sign in children suffering from asthma.
If you notice any of these signs in a child, schedule an appointment immediately with a medical professional skilled in children’s asthma treatment. If you live in Tampa Bay, the experts at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology of Tampa Bay are here to help your child learn about asthma, including how to avoid triggers and manage symptoms. Call us at (813) 971-9743 or request an appointment online today.