Asthma is an Incredibly Common Condition for Children
Many parents make it their top priority to ensure that their child is healthy and taken care of. This means providing them with shelter, food, and treating them when they are sick. However, a lot of small children struggle to explain what they are feeling when they are sick. This makes it difficult to find the root of your child’s problems. This can be even more discerning if your child has a persisting condition such as asthma. It can be hard to recognize if your child has asthma, so it is important for you as a parent to understand what asthma is and other information regarding it.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease in which the lungs and bronchial tubes become easily inflamed when exposed to specific triggers. The bronchial tubes are in charge of bringing air into and out of the lungs. Whenever they become inflamed, your child’s breathing will become more difficult and labored.
Wheezing is extremely common among those who have asthma, whether child or adult, but it is important to remember that not every case involves wheezing. Furthermore, babies who frequently wheeze may go on to not have asthma. Each case is different but should be treated with the same level of seriousness.
Recognizing Asthma Symptoms
It may not be thought that asthma can affect babies, but it has been reported that as much as 80% of children with the disease show symptoms before they turned 5. At this young of an age, your child will not be able to accurately describe exactly how they are feeling, but there are some symptoms that are noticeable that every parent should keep an eye out for.
- Labored Breathing: Pay attention to your child’s belly. If it is moving more than normal while breathing and their nostrils flare, this may be an indicator of asthma.
- Wheezing: This sounds like a high-pitched whistle that occurs at the end of a breath. It can be hard to diagnose with the only accurate way to do so is with a stethoscope.
- Frequent Coughing: These bouts of violent coughing tend to occur more commonly at night. Mucus may accompany it as well.
- Chest Tightness: One of the few ways a child can describe their condition is if they tell you that their chest is hurting. They may express feelings of tightness or squeezing, especially during physical activity.
- Sleeping Problems/Tiredness: Due to your child spending their nights coughing so much, they will have trouble sleeping. They will constantly be woken up by their coughing. You will need to notice if they are tired during the day since you can’t always hear or see what happens at night.
- Easily Fatigued: If your child is older, they will be able to tell you that they are more easily winded during physical activity than normal. However, for young children, you may have to monitor them and see how they breathe during play.
Infants’ symptoms can be even more difficult to recognize, but they are still there.
- Difficulty Feeding: Your baby may struggle to properly eat well. You may also hear them grunting as they struggle. Poor eating habits are important to monitor.
- Turning Blue: This may be a scarier symptom for many parents of infants. Due to their labored breathing, and their lungs not receiving the oxygen they need, their face or lips may show a hint of blue. Their fingernails may also do the same.
When to See a Doctor
It is important for you as a parent to not panic when recognizing if your child has asthma. Your child may notice this and may begin to panic as well.
You should take your child to see a doctor if they continually present one or more of these symptoms listed. It has been reported that asthma is the leading chronic illness in children, affecting nearly 7 million children in the U.S. For reasons not understood, these numbers have been steadily on the rise.
For infants and small children, they should immediately be taken to a doctor if their breathing becomes extremely labored, or they experience a change in the color of their skin. The doctors at Tots N Teens Pediatrics will put your child through thorough asthma testing to diagnose their condition and best create a treatment plan.
Asthma is an incredibly common disease for many young children. While doctors do not fully understand the cause and reason behind it, they have found numerous ways to properly treat it. The doctors at Tots N Teens Pediatrics understand how stressful having a child who suffers from this condition can be which is why we have made it our priority to properly treat your child to ensure they remain healthy.