Asthma in children is a health threat that can lead to chronic illness. Children who have contracted asthma experience inflamed airways in their lungs. Asthma symptoms can escalate when sufferers catch a cold or are exposed to pollen. When a child has asthma, it can become difficult for them to carry on with their daily activities, even including going to sleep. Furthermore, in some instances, children who experience an asthma attack require hospitalization. Unfortunately, asthma does not have a cure, although there are asthma treatments that help patients mitigate the worst of the symptoms.
Common risk factors
Some of the common risk factors that would indicate that a child has asthma are:
- Family history
Asthma has been shown to have a strong genetic component, and it often runs in families. Children born to a family with a history of asthma are more likely to develop the condition than those from families with no asthma history.
- Exposure to tobacco
Tobacco is a known causal agent of asthma, and children exposed to it could be asthmatic. Exposure can even happen before birth when a mother smokes tobacco or is exposed to it.
Scientific research has shown that children who are overweight are at a higher risk of being asthmatic. If your child is obese, they are also likely to develop allergies, which may result in being asthmatic.
- Respiratory conditions
Asthma is a respiratory disease that affects the lungs. So, when a child is diagnosed with other respiratory diseases like pneumonia, runny or stuffy nose (rhinitis), or inflamed sinuses (sinusitis), they become more vulnerable to asthma.
- Being male
Scientific researchers have concluded that males are more vulnerable to asthma than women. This is because men generally have a weaker immune system than women. If your children are boys, they are at a higher risk of developing asthma than those who are girls.
- Air pollution
High levels of air pollution are the leading cause of respiratory diseases in children. When children are exposed to polluted air, they are at risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Generally, there is scientific evidence that shows that people of African origin are more likely to contract asthma than those of European or Asian descent.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Asthma in Children
Some of the signs and symptoms of asthma in children are:
- Persistent coughing.
If your child has a cough that does not seem to go away, it could be an indication of asthma
- Trouble sleeping
When your child has problems sleeping due to increased coughing, then it could be an indication of asthma.
- Coughing spells
Asthmatic children often develop coughing spells when playing or exercising, particularly when in cold environments. At times, asthmatic children might suffer coughing spells when crying or laughing.
- If your child is experiencing difficulties breathing
Asthma is a respiratory disease and often leads to shortness of breath, sometimes described by young children as a ‘sore tummy’.
- Signs of tiredness
If your child starts reporting feeling very weak and tired without even exercising, it could be an indication of asthma.
If you suspect your child is asthmatic, you should visit your doctor to initiate asthma treatment. Although the condition has no cure, such treatments help children manage the condition and prevent any further lung damage.