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What is asthma in children?


Asthma is a common pulmonary condition that often begins during childhood. The lungs and airways become inflamed and produce mucus when exposed to certain triggers. Common triggers include allergies, colds and exercise.



What are the symptoms?




Some symptoms may worsen at night, get worse over time or worsen with seasonal changes.


Other, less obvious symptoms can include:




How can it be diagnosed?


It can be difficult to diagnose your child’s asthma. Bouts of coughing and wheezing could also be signs of a different respiratory problem. Doctors will look at the child’s medical historysymptomsallergies and ask questions about their breathing, how long symptoms last and how often they occur.


Diagnostic tests might include the following:




You should take your child to the doctor if they display symptoms like those mentioned above; constant coughing, wheezing, breathlessness, tightness in the chest and repeated episodes of chest infections.


Seek emergency medical help if your child:




What are the causes of asthma in children?


The exact cause of asthma is unknown, however, it is thought to be linked to a weak immune system. Other factors that are thought to play a role are genetics and environmental factors.


Some common triggers that set off symptoms of asthma include:




Can it be prevented?


To lower your child’s risk of developing asthma, you can take the following steps:




If your child suffers from acid reflux or heartburn, keep it under control, as this can worsen asthma symptoms.


How is asthma in children treated?


There is no cure for childhood asthma and symptoms may continue into adulthood. However, with treatment, symptoms can be kept under control, preventing further damage to the lungs. Some children may only require short term treatment with short-acting bronchodilators for immediate relief of symptoms if their asthma is mild and intermittent. However long term medication will be needed for children with recurring bouts of asthma. Long term medication to control the asthma is administered in the form of corticosteroid inhalers. The dosage may change over time, depending on the severity of your child’s symptoms.


Sometimes other treatments might accompany inhalers if they initially prove ineffective on the own, such as:




Monitoring and recording your child’s asthma and symptoms and controlling asthma triggers, keeping the house dust free and clean and teaching your child what to do if they have an asthma attack are all very important to keeping asthma under control.