Asthma and Children
Research on asthma has shown that children may experience different symptoms from those seen in adults. In addition to the classic symptoms, children with the condition may experience recurrent chest congestion and chronic coughing with colds. Fortunately, there are several reliable methods for treating children with asthma. Those who have mild asthma are more likely to be symptom-free when they become adults.
Childhood asthma may appear similar to or different from asthma in adults. A child's symptoms may include the classic symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when he or she breathes)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Mucus production.
Younger children may also have the following asthma symptoms:
- Repeated episodes of bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and croup
- Recurrent chest congestion
- Chronic coughing with colds (upper respiratory tract infections).
Symptoms of an Acute Asthma Attack in Children
During an acute attack of asthma, your child may experience a wide range of symptoms, depending on how severe the attack is. Symptoms include the following:
- Mild: Your child may become short of breath only after physical activity, but is able to speak in full sentences.
- Moderate: Your child may be short of breath while speaking. Infants may have a softer and shorter cry than usual or difficulty feeding.
- Severe: Your child may be sitting upright, breathless, and speaking in single words as opposed to full sentences.
- Respiratory failure (also known as status asthmaticus): In addition to the previously described symptoms, your child may be drowsy and confused. This is a medical emergency.