Signs of Asthma in Children
Affinity Health, a leading affordable medical insurance provider, says asthma can be expensive. Especially in children.
Did you know that childhood asthma is the most prevalent chronic lung disease? Uncontrolled and undiagnosed asthma in children can result in countless hospital admissions.
Going to the hospital leads to kids missing school and parents missing work. It can be difficult to aim for a high quality of life when you have asthma. But with the proper therapy, you and your child can keep symptoms under control. Doctors can prevent permanent lung damage in developing lungs. Children can enjoy life to the fullest.
WHAT IS ASTHMA?
Asthma is a common condition of the airways. Asthma causes the airway muscles to contract. The airway lining swells and becomes irritated, creating thick mucus.
These changes restrict the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Restricted airways can lead to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest.
WHAT CAUSES ASTHMA IN CHILDREN?
Children’s lungs and airways become inflamed with asthma. Especially when exposed to triggers. Triggers include pollen or contracting a cold or other respiratory illness.
Most children with asthma show symptoms before the age of five. The bronchial tubes, which allow air to enter and exit the lungs, are tiny in newborns and toddlers. Colds of the head, chest, and elsewhere can inflame these airways.
SYMPTOMS OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA
Paediatric asthma symptoms can range from a cough to sudden breathing problems. Common warning indicators that parents should be aware of include:
- Coughing during the night.
- A wheezing or whistling sound is often heard during exhalation.
- Inability to breathe or rapid breathing.
- Frequent chest infections that linger.
Childhood asthma may also result in fatigue. Fatigue may also be due to sleep disturbances because of shortness of breath or wheezing at night.
“Children may only show one of these symptoms,” says Murray Hewlett, Affinity Health CEO. In some instances, asthma symptoms may be mistaken for a cold or bronchitis.
Hence, consult your health care provider if symptoms persist. Early treatment will aid in symptom management and may prevent asthma attacks.
HOW IS ASTHMA DIAGNOSED IN CHILDREN?
If asthma and allergies run in your family, inform your doctor. If you have a family history of asthma, your child is more likely to develop these conditions.
Often, asthma is diagnosed with a medical examination and an airflow test. Especially when diagnosing young children. Diagnosing children can be complicated.
Children younger than preschool age may be unable to perform the airflow test. It includes vigorous blowing into a tube. And infants and toddlers cannot articulate their emotions.
This makes it crucial for parents, family and caregivers to be aware of signs of asthma in children.
WHEN TO SEEK EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE
If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, and asthma plan can help you track symptoms.
In extreme circumstances, you may observe your child’s chest and sides contracting as they struggle to breathe. Your child may experience an elevated heart rate, profuse sweating, and chest pain. Seek immediate medical care if your child:
- Has to pause in the middle of a sentence to collect their breath.
- Uses their abdominal muscles to breathe.
- Has wider nostrils when inhaling.
- Strives so hard to inhale that the abdomen caves in.
Learn More: Asthmatic? Here Are a Few Natural Remedies
ABOUT AFFINITY HEALTH
Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.