Asthma and Wheeze
Childhood asthma is a respiratory disease that affects around 1 million children in the UK. Asthma is the most common long-term condition among children and adolescents. Several triggers can cause this condition to develop from a young age, with most of them being difficult to avoid in everyday life.
What Causes Childhood Asthma?
Most young children will usually start to display asthma symptoms around the age of 4. In younger children, viral-induced wheeze is a common condition that does not necessarily lead to asthma. Although the exact cause of asthma is unknown, it is thought that asthma is hereditary, so one parent usually has a history of asthma or other allergic condition. Children whose parents have a history of allergies are more likely to develop the condition. However, environmental factors like second-hand smoke and air pollution are also common causes. Children with allergic rhinitis, particularly due to house dust mite allergy, are more likely to develop asthma. There are several triggers which can cause an asthma attack, so it’s important to try and avoid them if possible. This includes:
- Common colds
- High amounts of air pollution
- Dust mite allergies
- Excessive physical activity
- Weather changes
- Animal dander allergies
In cases of allergic asthma triggered by allergies, the condition needs to be managed even more carefully than usual with paediatric help to get more information regarding the cause of asthma.
Common Asthma Symptoms In Children
Parents should familiarise themselves with the symptoms associated with asthma. It can help you identify the issue early – so that you can seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Be aware that not all children will experience the same symptoms. You may also find their symptoms subside and flare up on different occasions. Common symptoms include:
- Tight chest
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent dry cough especially at night
- Wheezing while breathing
- Getting unusually tired during exercise
Symptoms of a mild asthma attack differ from a severe attack. If your child has a mild asthma attack, they will exhibit symptoms such as wheezing and coughing. They may also experience breathlessness and a tight chest. Severe asthma attacks can include breathlessness and your child may also struggle to speak, talk or eat. If your child is experiencing severe asthma symptoms, you should call 999 immediately.
When To Seek Paediatric Help
If you notice your child exhibits asthma symptoms, we recommend seeking paediatric help.
Here at Children’s Allergy Doctors, our team are on hand to assess your child’s symptoms – and guide you through treatment options to relieve any discomfort they may be experiencing. We always supply families with a personalised asthma action plan so that they know what to do in case of an asthma attack. We urge parents to seek paediatric support over ongoing issues, even if they are undiagnosed. You may find that your child does not have asthma, but they may have another condition such as postnasal drip due to hay-fever, prolonged bacterial bronchitis, or vocal cord dysfunction, which our team can also assist with. It is always better to get them checked out.
If your child has asthma, and their symptoms are not subsiding with the help of prescribed medication, you should contact your GP or paediatrician. In the event of an asthma attack, parents should know their child’s personalised asthma action plan.
Asthma attacks can be life-threatening so it is important to get a proper diagnosis of asthma, and management. Severe asthma can cause a permanent decline in lung function so it is important to manage this well. If you suspect your child has asthma, you should seek advice from a paediatric consultant. Children’s Allergy Doctors can help. We offer various services, such as asthma management, to help parents better understand and manage their child’s condition. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment today to find out how our support team can help you.
What parents say:
“We trust Dr Brough. She has an easy and warm manner. She takes the time to explain diagnosis and treatment in a brief and simple way. My children like seeing her.”