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Does My Child Have Asthma

Can A Child With Asthma Play Sports

Does my child have asthma?

Children and teens with asthma can exercise and be physically active. Your doctor can provide guidelines for enjoying sports in the action plan. Share this with teachers, coaches, and adult staff at the gym or sports center. Some tips for controlling asthma while playing sports are:

  • Know the asthma triggers and avoid exposure to them.
  • Exercise indoors when air pollution levels are high.
  • Wear a mask to cover the nose and mouth when exercising or playing in cold weather. This helps moisten and warm the air you breathe in.
  • Exercise slowly for the first 10 to 15 minutes. End exercise with a slow cooling down activity such as walking or stretching.
  • Stop exercising or playing and use the quick-relief medication or rescue inhaler if asthma symptoms appear.

Side Effects Of Asthma Medication

If you are worried about possible side effects from asthma medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop or reduce doses of medication for your child without speaking with your doctor. Common side effects from inhaled asthma medication:


  • sore mouth and throat
  • fungal throat infections.

Using a spacer reduces the risk of these side effects. as does rinsing the mouth with water after using an inhaler.


  • fast heart beat.

Signs And Symptoms Of Childhood Asthma

Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. A child may even have different symptoms from one episode to the next. Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:

  • A cough that doesnât go away
  • Coughing spells that happen often, especially during play or exercise, at night, in cold air, or while laughing or crying
  • A cough that gets worse after a viral infection
  • Less energy during play, and stopping to catch their breath during activities
  • Avoiding sports or social activities
  • Tight neck and chest muscles
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble eating, or grunting while eating

Your child’s doctor should check out any illness that makes it hard for them to breathe.

Experts sometimes use the terms âreactive airways diseaseâ and âbronchiolitisâ when talking about wheezing with shortness of breath or coughing in infants and toddlers. Tests may not be able to confirm asthma in children younger than 5.

When to get emergency care

A severe asthma attack needs medical care right away. Watch for these signs:

  • Stopping in the middle of a sentence to catch a breath
  • Using stomach muscles to breathe
  • A belly that sinks in under their ribs when they try to get air
  • Chest and sides that pull in as they breathe
  • Severe wheezing

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How Is Asthma Treated In A Child

Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Your childs healthcare provider may refer you to a pulmonologist. This is a doctor with special training to treat lung conditions. Your child may also be referred to an asthma and allergy specialist. Your childs treatment is based on how severe his or her symptoms are and how easily they are controlled. Treatment includes finding triggers and ways to avoid them. It will also include medicines.

Asthma medicines include:

  • Bronchodilators. These medicines are used to help open the narrowed airways. They may relieve coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines. These medicines help decrease the inflammation in the airways.
  • Anti-leukotrienes. These medicines help decrease the narrowing of the airways. These are usually given by mouth.
  • Immunotherapy. This can be used for severe asthma attacks in children ages 12 and older.

Can My Child With Asthma Play With Kids Who Have Colds

Does My Child Have Asthma?

Colds can exacerbate asthma. “It’s best to keep young children with asthma away from people who are sick,” Tolomeo advises. “Wash their hands frequently, and ask your healthcare provider about receiving the flu vaccine.”

A recent CDC study showed the flu vaccine reduces asthma flare-ups in children 6 and younger by up to 41 percent — and that vaccinating all children with asthma could prevent as many as three-quarters of asthma-related trips to emergency rooms and hospitalizations during flu season.

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Asthma Patterns In Children

Every childs asthma is different. Some children have mild, occasional episodes of asthma or only show symptoms after exercising, or when they have a cold. Some experience daily symptoms, while others have symptoms continuously, which limit their level of activity.

Each pattern of asthma requires a different treatment approach. It is important to remember that children can still have a severe and even life-threatening attack, even if they generally have mild or occasional asthma.

My Baby Is Wheezing Is It Asthma

My baby is wheezing. The doctor wants her to get breathing treatments through a nebulizer. I’m worried! Could she have asthma? Audrey

Probably not. Many babies and young children wheeze due to colds or viruses and don’t develop asthma when they’re older.

Young kids are more at risk for wheezing because their airways are very small. When they get a cold or other respiratory tract infection, these already small passages swell and fill with mucus much more easily than an older child’s or an adult’s. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and other symptoms that people with asthma get.

Another thing to consider is how often your baby wheezes. One instance of wheezing isn’t enough to diagnose asthma. It must happen more than once. But even when wheezing happens a bunch of times, it still might not be asthma, especially in young children. Most kids who wheeze as infants outgrow it and don’t have asthma when they get older. So doctors usually can’t make an asthma diagnosis until children are older, by about age 4 or 5.

In the meantime, doctors will treat any asthma-like symptoms. They may prescribe asthma medicines, but probably won’t officially diagnose a child with asthma unless symptoms continue.

  • wheezing that has happened more than once
  • long-lasting coughing or coughing that get worse at night or after active playing
  • any other breathing problem that concerns you

Also Check: Infection Induced Asthma

Triggers For Asthma In Children

Asthma triggers are substances, conditions or activities that lead to asthma symptoms. These include :

  • wheezing whistling noise when breathing
  • coughing .

Your child may have all of these symptoms or just a few. Symptoms are often worse at night, in the early morning, during exercise or due to other triggers.

When To Get Help

Does my Child Have Asthma and How Should it be Treated? – Sande Okelo, MD, PhD | UCLAMDChat

Listen to your gut and speak with your child’s pediatrician about anything that doesn’t seem quite right, even if you or your child can’t easily give it a name.

Wheezing, in particular, isn’t normal and should never be ignored. Contact a doctor if:

  • The wheezing is new
  • Wheezing isn’t new but is getting worse
  • You’re otherwise concerned about what’s happening with your child

Unfortunately, a breathing emergency may be the first indication that your child has asthma. Get emergency treatment for them right away if:

  • They stop mid-sentence to catch their breath
  • Their nostrils widen nostrils when they breathing in
  • They’re using abdominal muscles to force air in and out
  • The abdomen is sucked under the ribs when they inhale
  • They’re lethargic

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What Can I Do To Manage My Childs Asthma

When a baby or toddler has a chronic illness, parents can feel stressed to their limits. Here are some coping tips:

  • Learn the warning signs for increasing asthma in infants and toddlers. Know your childs particular asthma symptom pattern.
  • Develop an asthma care plan with your childs doctor. Make sure the plan has a course of action to follow if asthma symptoms get worse. Understand when your child needs emergency care.
  • Follow your child’s Asthma Action Plan every day! Dont change the plan until you consult your health care provider. Even if your childs symptoms are gone, stick with the plan until you discuss changes with the doctor.
  • Teach your toddler or preschooler to tell you when they are not feeling well.
  • Work out an emergency plan of action to follow if your child has a serious asthma episode. What hospital will you use? Who will take care of your other children? How does your medical coverage provide for emergency care?

Some Of The More Common Factors Or Triggers Are Described Here

Allergens. Some allergens are more likely to trigger an asthma episode. For instance, very young children may have food allergies that result in asthma symptoms. Some of the foods to which American children are commonly allergic are eggs, cows milk, wheat, soybean products, tree nuts, and peanuts.

In toddlers, common allergens that trigger asthma include house dust mites, molds, and animal dander. For older children, pollen may be a likely allergen, but indoor allergens and molds are more likely to be a cause of asthma symptoms.

Viral infections. Some types of viruses can trigger asthma. Two of the most likely viruses affecting children are the respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus. RSV can cause diseases of the bronchial system known as bronchopneumonia and bronchiolitis. A young child who has wheezing with bronchiolitis is likely to develop asthma later in life. Parainfluenza affects the respiratory tract in children, sometimes causing bronchitis or pneumonia .

Tobacco smoke. Many people are unaware that smoking is a significant risk factor for asthma in children and a common trigger of asthma symptoms for people of all ages.

Airborne irritants. In addition to secondhand tobacco smoke, other irritants in the environment also can trigger asthma symptoms or acute asthma episodes. These irritants include smog aerosol sprays of all kinds fumes from paint cleaning products or chemicals in the home, school, or workplace and even perfumes and other fragrances.

Recommended Reading: What Causes Increased Mucus Production In Asthma

The Effect Of Asthma On Children

Asthma is a common childhood illness that may take many different forms some children have daily symptoms, miss school, and have difficulty with exertion, but much more commonly asthma presents in a milder fashion.

Some children do well for weeks at a time, but any cold will go straight to their chest, with coughing and chest congestion for several weeks on end. Other children may experience shortness of breath with vigorous exercise and have to slow down in PE class or on sports teams. Sometimes younger children may get a diagnosis of reactive airways disease or get diagnosed with recurrent pneumonia. It is important to know that there is no cure for asthma, but that good treatment is available which can keep symptoms under control, sometimes for months or even years at a time.

With proper management, children should be able to be fully active asthma should not be a frequent cause of school absences or night waking.

A great community resource is the Clean Air for Kids program, which provides for an asthma specialist to evaluate the home environment, provide asthma education, and provide supplies.

Please discuss your childs respiratory symptoms with his or her Pediatrics Northwest provider if you have concerns. You may also visit our Allergy & Asthma Center.

Most Common Symptoms Of Childhood Asthma

Does my child have asthma?

Asthma is generally associated with breathlessness, and thats true for every age group. However, younger asthmatics may not show the same set of symptoms as older people with asthma, which can complicate diagnosis, and even lead to an emergency.

Symptoms typically show up before age five, and while some of the most common signs of childhood asthma are predictable, others may surprise you. These are the top signs to watch for:

  • Chronic cough
  • Less energy and frequent fatigue
  • General weakness, especially during any exertion
  • Tight neck and chest muscles
  • Chest pain or ache
  • Whistling sound when breathing

Asthma symptoms often set in or get worse early in the morning or at night, but a lot will depend on what sort of allergen, irritant, or reaction triggers the asthma episode.

For instance, if a child is sensitive to certain foods or plants, you can expect to see symptoms following a meal, or after playing outdoors. The two most common triggers are external allergens and cold viruses.

Kids with asthma may not get sick more often than others, but when they do, the cold or flu tends to gather in the chest.

Difficulty breathing, excessive mucus, and pain across the chest are common, and it can be easy to simply attribute them to a nasty chest infection rather than explore more deeply. Recurrent bronchitis is another symptom of childhood asthma.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

Certain Types Of Allergies Can Increase A Childs Risk Of Developing Asthma

When the allergic reaction takes place in the airways, they become inflamed and constricted. Children inherit atopy from their biological parents. However, it is not the same as inheriting a specific type of allergy. Rather, being atopic means only having a tendency to develop allergies. In other words, both the child and the parent might be allergic to something, but not necessarily the same thing.

What Is The Treatment For Asthma In Children

Treatment needs to be tailored for each child. One general rule that does apply, though, is to remove those things from the childs environment that you know act as triggers for asthma symptoms. Reducing household dust mites, mold, animal dander, and cockroach debris can be helpfulespecially in the childs bedroom. When these measures are not enough, it may be time to try one of the many medications that are available to control asthma symptoms.

Guidelines from the National Institutes of Health advise treating asthma with a stepwise approach. This means using the lowest dose of medication that is effective, and then stepping up the dose and the frequency with which it is taken if the asthma symptoms get worse. When the asthma gets under control, the medicines are then stepped down.

Recommended Reading: Asthma Relapse

Can A Child Outgrow Asthma

Once someone gets sensitive airways, they stay that way for life. This is the case even though asthma symptoms can change over the years. As a child gets older, they may be able to handle airway inflammation and irritants better, so their symptoms may get better. About half of those children get asthma symptoms again when they are in their late 30s or early 40s. There is no way to know which children may have reduced symptoms as they get older. New triggers may set off symptoms at any time in people who have asthma. If your child has asthma, keep quick-relief medicines and their Asthma Action Plan on hand , even if symptoms dont happen often.

Medical Review September 2015.

Half Of Children With Asthma Had 1 Or More Attacks In 2016

My Child Has Asthma. Could It Be Reflux?

Asthma attacks: going down .

  • Attacks have gone down in children of all races and ethnicities from 2001 through 2016.
  • About 50% of children with asthma had an attack in 2016.
  • Asthma attacks occurred most frequently among children younger than age 5 in 2016.
  • Emergency Department and urgent care center visits related to asthma attacks were highest among children ages 0-4 years and Non-Hispanic black children.

Your asthma is well controlled if:

  • You have symptoms no more than 2 days a week, and these symptoms dont wake you from sleep more than 1 or 2 nights a month.
  • You can do all of your normal activities.
  • You have no more than 1 asthma attack a year that requires you to take a pill or liquid for several days to treat the attack.
  • Your peak flow, a measurement of how well air moves in and out of your lungs, doesnt drop below 80% of your personal best number.
  • You need to take quick-relief medicines no more than 2 days a week.

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Childhood Asthma Risk Factors

Asthma is the leading cause of long-term illness in children. It affects about 7 million kids in the United States. Those numbers have been going up, and experts arenât sure why.

Most children have their first symptoms by age 5. But asthma can begin at any age.

Things that can make a child more likely to have asthma include:

  • Exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke before or after birth
  • African-American or Puerto Rican descent
  • Being raised in a low-income environment

Care Advice For Asthma Attack

  • What You Should Know About Asthma:
  • Over 10% of children have asthma.
  • Your child’s asthma can flare up at any time.
  • When you are away from your home, always take your child’s medicines with you.
  • The sooner you start treatment, the faster your child will feel better.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
  • Asthma Quick-Relief Medicine:
  • Your child’s quick-relief medicine is albuterol or xopenex.
  • Start it at the first sign of any wheezing, shortness of breath or hard coughing.
  • Give by inhaler with a spacer or use a neb machine.
  • Repeat it every 4 hours if your child is having any asthma symptoms.
  • Never give it more often than 4 hours without talking with your child’s doctor.
  • Coughing. The best “cough med” for a child with asthma is always the asthma medicine. Caution: don’t use cough suppressants. If over 6 years old, cough drops may help a tickly cough.
  • Caution: if the inhaler hasn’t been used in over 7 days, prime it. Test spray it twice into the air before using it for treatment. Also, do this if it is new.
  • Use the medicine until your child has not wheezed or coughed for 48 hours.
  • Spacer. Always use inhalers with a spacer. It will get twice the amount of medicine into the lungs.
  • Asthma Controller Medicine:
  • Your child may have been told to use a controller drug. An example is an inhaled steroid.
  • It’s for preventing attacks and must be used daily.
  • During asthma attacks, keep giving this medicine to your child as ordered.
  • Allergy Medicine for Hay Fever:
  • Fluids – Offer More:
  • Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Asthma Without Inhaler

    Face Masks And Spacer Devices

    Most young children will be prescribed a face mask which attaches to their inhaler. Older children will be prescribed a ‘spacer device’. A spacer device is a plastic or metal container with a mouthpiece and a hole for the inhaler.

    If your child has been prescribed a face mask or a spacer device, it is important to always use these. Face masks and spacers are the best way of making sure that your child gets the correct dose of medication right to their lungs.


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