Asthma in Children (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Symptoms of asthma can be mild or severe. Your child may have no symptoms; severe, daily symptoms; or something in between. How often your child has symptoms can also change.
Symptoms of asthma may include:
If your child has only one or two of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean he or she has asthma. The more of these symptoms your child has, the more likely it is that he or she has asthma.
Many children have symptoms that become worse at night (nocturnal asthma). In all people, lung function changes throughout the day and night. In children with asthma, this often is very noticeable, especially at night. Nighttime cough and shortness of breath occur frequently. In general, waking at night because of shortness of breath or cough indicates poorly controlled asthma.
Asthma often begins during childhood or the teen years and may last throughout your child's life.
Asthma is classified as intermittent, mild persistent, moderate persistent, and severe persistent.
It can be hard to know how severe your child's asthma attack is. Knowing this is important, because severe attacks may require emergency treatment. But in most cases you can take care of your child's symptoms at home with an asthma action plan, which is a written plan that tells you which medicine your child needs to use and when you should call a doctor or seek emergency treatment.
Asthma attacks and what makes them worse
An asthma attack occurs when your child's symptoms suddenly increase. While some asthma attacks occur very suddenly, many get worse over a period of several days.
Things that can lead to an asthma attack or make one worse include:
Most asthma attacks result from a failure to control asthma with medicines. When your child strictly follows his or her asthma action plan and takes all medicines correctly, it is possible to prevent attacks.
Effect on your child's life
Sometimes asthma does not respond to treatment because children are not taking their medicines or are not taking them correctly, are not avoiding triggers, and are otherwise not following their asthma action plan. It is very important that you and other caregivers make sure your child is following his or her action plan to keep asthma from getting worse and to reduce the risk of death from asthma.
By following asthma plans, most children who have asthma can live a healthy, full life.
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