Asthma is the leading cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and missed school days among children. A common chronic inflammatory disease of the upper respiratory system, asthma causes inflammation of the lungs and airways which restricts breathing when triggered. Left untreated, asthma can cause long-term damage to a child’s developing lungs. In addition to situational triggers like seasonal allergens, traffic pollution and respiratory infections such as the common cold, children often experience disruptive daily symptoms. Kids suffering with asthma may struggle to participate in active play and sports, and experience interference with sleep and study. Without proper management, asthma can lead to life-threatening attacks. Childhood asthma cannot be cured and symptoms may continue into adulthood, but the right treatment can control its symptoms and prevent lung damage.
Asthma is serious and Richfield Medical Group cares about keeping parents informed about the signs of childhood asthma. The development of asthma is influenced by both hereditary and environmental factors, so even if asthma doesn’t run in your family, it is vital to know the symptoms to watch out for in your children.
Your Child Is Wheezing
Wheezing is a high-pitched, whistle-like sound that occurs when breathing. When the airways are constricted, your child’s breath is forced through tightened, narrow passages. Similar to why a tea kettle whistles, this pressured air produces oscillations which form sound waves. While wheezing can be a normal symptom of an active respiratory infection like bronchitis, frequent wheezing may indicate asthma.
Your Child Frequently Coughs
A regular cough is another telltale sign of childhood asthma. An inflamed respiratory system and the constriction of airways makes the lungs more sensitive to irritants, triggering the body to try to expel whatever is causing the irritation. Listen for a dry cough, one that does not produce mucus, and be especially mindful of your child’s cough at night. Sleeping can exacerbate an asthma cough, which is a strong indication that you should seek treatment for your child.
Coughing and Wheezing are Triggered by Regular Activities
Asthma can worsen or trigger bouts of coughing and wheezing during regular activities like playing and even laughing. If you notice that your child begins coughing and wheezing while expressing emotion, engaging in physical activity or when exposed to cold temperatures, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor.
Coughing and Wheezing is Triggered by Regular Activities
Asthma can worsen or trigger bouts of coughing and wheezing during regular activities like playing and even laughing. Excited communication and exercise change breathing patterns, causing a form of hyperventilation. This can also happen when your child breathes cold air. If you notice that your child begins coughing and wheezing while expressing emotion, engaging in physical activity or when exposed to cold temperatures, make sure to seek a doctor’s guidance.
Your Child is Short of Breath or Fatigued
Children with asthma experience shortness of breath, especially when playing or exercising. Pay attention to your child’s breathing. Fast or pressured breathing, breathing that causes the skin around their rib cage to tighten and complaints of being out of breath are all strong indicators of asthma. Your child may also express that their chest feels tight. Along with shortness of breath, you may notice that your child is fatigued due to the disruption of sleep from night coughs as well as the restricted flow of oxygen.
Treat Your Child’s Asthma with Richfield Medical Group
Richfield Medical Group is a family-oriented primary care provider. We believe that great healthcare requires strong communication, collaboration and an atmosphere of trust especially when it comes to our youngest patients. Richfield Medical Group is patient-centered. Our physicians and care team build close and lasting relationships centered around improving and sustaining the health of our patients and their families. We keep parents informed and empowered in managing their children’s health, including chronic conditions like asthma. If you’re concerned that your child may have asthma, reach out to us to make an appointment at 612-861-1622. We look forward to helping you and your little one breathe easier.