Asthma affects both adults and children. Identify what triggers an asthma attack and the asthma signs and symptoms in children.
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease of the lower airways in the lungs.
The most important feature of asthma is the increased sensitivity of the airways to many factors in the environment.
These triggers, though variable from patient to patient, include allergens (e.g., house dust mites, pollen and pets), pollution and viral infection of the airways (such as common colds). The airways become swollen and narrowed, making breathing difficult and noisy (wheezing).
Asthma in kids can appear at any age. However, trigger factors can vary according to age. In young children (under the age of three years), asthma is usually a viral infection, while in older children, allergy becomes a more important trigger for asthma.
Symptoms of asthma can appear suddenly (attacks) or be chronically present (persistent). Symptoms include coughing (especially chronic cough and dry cough at night or after exercise), wheezing (whistling noise in the chest), shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. The most typical sign of asthma is the so-called asthma attack, during which the child experiences sudden wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. These attacks can be mild or severe and may need emergency treatment.
Asthma triggers can cause an asthma attack or make the asthma worse. Controlling your child’s asthma involves recognising the child’s triggers. Allergy tests can help identify these triggers.
Common Triggers for Asthma in Children Include:
Food is usually NOT an asthma trigger — this includes cold drinks, ice cream and chocolates.
A paediatrician is usually able to diagnose asthma based on medical history and a clinical examination. Special tests may be needed to help in the further evaluation or management of your asthmatic child.
Preventers or Anti-inflammatory Agents
What Is Exercise-induced Asthma in Children?
When the child wheezes or coughs when exercising, he/she may be suffering from exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
Children with EIA have airways that are very sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, especially when breathing cold, dry air. When children with EIA exercise, the airways narrow abnormally, resulting in symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, minutes after exercise. These symptoms usually reach their peak five to 10 minutes after stopping the activity.
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
Read this next:
This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Chickenpox: Symptoms and Treatment Options
Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) by HDB
Outpatient Costs for Chronic Disease (How to Reduce Cost)
In partnership with