When your child has asthma, their airways and lungs become easily inflamed when exposed to specific triggers such as catching a cold or inhaling pollen. Childhood asthma can negatively interfere with your child’s play, sports, school, and even sleep. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition, and its symptoms can continue into adulthood. Nonetheless, it is possible to manage your child’s symptoms – with the help of an expert like Carrie Jones MD – so they can live a happy, fulfilling life.
Causes of Childhood Asthma
Childhood asthma is quite similar to asthma in adults but, children face more unique challenges. For example, it is the leading cause of emergency hospitalizations and missed school days among children. The following are some of the factors that can cause this condition:
- Genetics – Having a parent with asthma.
- Continuous exposure to environmental hazards, such as cigarette smoke
- Inherited tendency to develop allergies
- Exposure to airway infections at a young age
Common Asthma Triggers
When a child with asthma is exposed to their trigger, their increased immune system sensitivity results in swelling and mucus production in the lungs and airways. Asthma triggers often vary from child to child and include:
- Abrupt weather changes
- Allergies to pet dander, mold, pollen, or dust mites
- Viral infections such as the common cold
- Exposure to air pollutants
- Excessive physical activity
Symptoms Your Child Has Asthma
Asthma signs and symptoms often vary from child to child and might even worsen with time. Nonetheless, the most common signs and symptoms of childhood asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent coughing when exposed to any viral infections
- Chest tightness or congestion
- A wheezing or whistling sound when exhaling
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble sleeping due to frequent coughing or wheezing
- Fatigue due to poor sleep
Avoiding Asthma Triggers
You can protect your child from asthma attacks by paying keen attention to their environment and activities. Here are some pointers to help you:
- Limit exposing your child to the triggers mentioned earlier
- Encourage your child to be frequently active
- Do not allow smoking around your child
- Help your child maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index)
- Keep your child’s heartburn under control.
- Visit your child’s allergy doctor regularly for checkups.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Studies show that early diagnosis and treatment often help control the severity of asthma symptoms. Therefore, you should consult your child’s doctor if you notice:
- Frequent complaints of chest congestion
- Trouble breathing or rapid breathing
- Frequent coughing linked to physical activity
- A whistling or wheezing sound when your child exhales
- Repeated cases of suspected pneumonia or bronchitis
Signs of an Emergency
For severe childhood asthma cases, immediately call 911 or drive to your nearest hospital if your child:
- Has widened nostrils when inhaling
- They have trouble breathing, and the abdomen is sucked under the ribs when they inhale.
- Is using their abdominal muscles to breathe.
If your child exhibits symptoms of asthma, contact Dr. Carrie Jones of Argyle Pediatrics in Argyle, Texas. Dr. Jones and her highly experienced staff will work closely with you to ensure your child’s wellbeing and offer you comprehensive evaluations to help you better understand your child’s symptoms. For more information about how she can help you, book an appointment online or contact her Texas office directly.