Watch Out For These Early Symptoms of Childhood Asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes the lungs to overreact to allergens, viruses, exercise, pollutants, and cold air. Bronchial airways become inflamed and swollen during an attack, while excess mucus is produced in the airways and the muscles surrounding those airways contract.
This makes breathing difficult, and it's a condition that has come to affect children even more in the modern age. In fact, rates of asthmas have increased in children under five years by an estimated 160% between 1980 and 1994. Unfortunately, children are unlikely to be able to self-diagnose themselves; they often just assume the condition is normal since they have no standard of comparison. That means that you need to know how to identify it yourself.
They Possess a Risk Factor
Childhood asthma can be caused by numerous factors, with some of the more common including the following:
- A Low Birth Weight
- Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
- Family History of Asthma or Allergies
- Regular Respiratory Infections
If one or more of these risk factors applies, it doesn't necessarily mean that your child is going to develop asthma, but it does mean that you should be extra careful to watch out for further symptoms.
Wheezing means that your child produces a sound similar to a high-pitched whistle when they exhale, and regular wheezing is one of the most common symptoms of asthma. It indicates that your child may not be getting enough air by breathing normally. However, wheezing is frequent when a child is under two years of age, so this becomes a more important symptom after that time has passed.
Coughing is often the only symptom that childhood asthma presents; this is particularly likely if the condition tends to be induced by exercise or while sleeping. The cough will sound dry, unlike what you'd expect from a common cold, and may occur more frequently at night. Coughing can clearly indicate other less serious symptomatic conditions. However, a cough that is persistent and sounds dry and rough should merit a trip to a medical professional.
Asthma often causes a feeling of tightness across the chest. If your child frequently complains of chest pain, it might indicate that they have asthma. Of course, some children may simply ignore the problem, so make sure you watch out for signs of pain and discomfort. If, for example, your child regularly rubs or holds their chest, there might be something wrong. Tightness is often associated with sleeping, so you're more likely to notice these signs during the night or early in the morning.
Asthma is never fun for a child since it can stop them running, playing, and enjoying all the things that children do. It can also have serious complications if left untreated. If you do think that your child suffers from asthma, make sure you seek the assistance of a medical professional or gp.