Childhood Asthma: Everything you really need to know

Some children develop asthma at an early age, and others may not have it until they’re teenagers or adults. The constant wheezing and coughing are hard to listen to, and if your child has childhood asthma, you want to do everything you can to make it better—or even stop it from happening in the first place. 

To help you keep up with your little one’s condition, here’s what you need to know about childhood asthma symptoms, causes, and treatments.

What is Childhood Asthma?

Childhood asthma is a condition that affects children as they grow. It’s characterized by an inflammation of bronchial tubes that causes wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing and chest tightness. This happens due to excessive mucus or shortness of breath in children. 

Since it’s common in kids who haven’t yet developed complete immunity, it is also referred to as juvenile asthma. In most cases, symptoms are mild and can be managed easily with medication. However, if left untreated for long periods of time, it can cause serious complications like permanent lung damage. If your child shows any signs of asthma, seek medical attention immediately

What are the symptoms of childhood asthma?

The symptoms of childhood asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest. Symptoms may vary depending on what type of asthma your child has. 

Type 1 or juvenile (childhood) asthma is usually triggered by exercise or exposure to allergens like dust mites, mold spores and pet dander. These are known as allergic triggers for asthma because they cause an immune response that causes inflammation in your airways. 

Exposure to these triggers can result in symptoms within minutes after exposure but can also be delayed for up to a few hours after exposure. 

In addition to allergic triggers, some children with asthma experience exercise-induced asthma. This occurs when physical activity causes constriction of their airways and results in symptoms similar to those caused by other allergies such as shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. 

What causes childhood asthma?

Childhood asthma is usually triggered by an allergen or irritant. The trigger can range from smoke to grass to pet dander. Some kids are particularly sensitive and can’t handle even small amounts of something their bodies think is a threat, triggering asthma in them. As such, parents should be careful about how often they allow their kids to be around something that could potentially lead to a serious asthma attack. 

Children with food allergies are also at risk for developing childhood asthma as well. Parents who have children with food allergies must pay close attention to their child’s diet and any signs of an allergic reaction, which can easily trigger an asthma attack.  

Treatment of childhood asthma

The treatment of childhood asthma includes drug therapy, environmental control, and in severe cases, hospitalization. 

Drug therapy for asthma usually involves a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs and bronchodilators. 

Long-term medications include inhaled corticosteroids, which help reduce inflammation in your lungs and prevent constriction of airways by relaxing muscles around them. You may also be prescribed medication that helps keep allergens from irritating your airways. 

Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed if bacteria are found in sputum cultures. Talk to a pediatrician who will work with you to determine how often and when these medications should be taken for your child.

5 tips to deal with asthma attacks

Many children will experience an asthma attack at some point in their life. Asthma attacks are sudden and can have a severe impact on children. 

Here are 5 tips to overcome these attacks for parents. 

1) As soon as your child experiences symptoms of an asthma attack, administer his or her prescribed medicine immediately. If it is too late and your child has already experienced breathing difficulties, do not try to give him or her any medicine as it could further complicate things. 

2) Do not let your child sleep during an asthma attack as they might stop breathing while sleeping and could end up with serious complications such as brain damage, stroke or even death. 

3) If your child has stopped breathing, administer CPR immediately until he or she can breathe on his own again. 

4) Never leave your child alone if he or she is experiencing a severe asthma attack and keep track of his/her medical history at all times in case it happens again. 

5) Children who suffer from asthma attacks are more likely to develop bronchitis, pneumonia, allergies and other respiratory problems later on in life. Make sure that your child gets proper treatment for his or her condition as soon as possible.


If your child is diagnosed with childhood asthma, it’s important that you treat their symptoms as soon as possible so they can live a normal life and avoid any potential complications. As a parent, it’s your job to educate yourself on all of these treatments so that you can make sure your child is getting exactly what they need when they need it. Talk to us today so we can share a detailed health report of your child and the appropriate course of treatment.