Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects the airways, causing inflammation when exposed to certain triggers. These triggers can include inhaling pollen or contracting a respiratory infection like a cold. In children, asthma can lead to daily symptoms that disrupt activities such as play, sports, school, and sleep. If left unmanaged, asthma can also result in severe asthma attacks, which can be life-threatening and occur suddenly or gradually over time.
While asthma can develop at any age, it commonly begins during childhood when the immune system is still developing. Most children experience their first asthma symptom before the age of 5. This condition can cause school absences and even necessitate hospitalization. Childhood asthma is essentially the same as asthma in adults, but it presents unique challenges in children.
Regrettably, there is no cure for childhood asthma, and symptoms may persist into adulthood. However, with appropriate treatment, you and your child can effectively control symptoms and prevent damage to the developing lungs.
Common symptoms of childhood asthma include the following:
It’s important to note that asthma symptoms can vary among children and may change over time. Some children may have only one symptom, like a persistent cough or chest congestion. It can sometimes be challenging to determine if these symptoms are caused by asthma or other respiratory issues, such as infectious bronchitis.
During an asthma attack (asthma exacerbation), the symptoms can significantly worsen. These attacks may occur slowly or suddenly and can be life-threatening in severe cases (known as status asthmaticus). If your child shows any of the following warning signs during a severe attack, it is crucial to seek immediate medical assistance:
Asthma’s exact cause is not yet fully understood by researchers, but it often emerges during childhood when a child’s immune system is still developing. Several factors can influence the development of asthma and the body’s response to germs. These factors include:
There are several factors that could potentially heighten the likelihood of your child developing asthma. These factors include:
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