Asthma is the prominent source of chronic illness in children. In U.S. it is found that asthma tends to affect about 10%-12% of children and it is increasing. It is a very common chronic disease and it can begin at any age. Children normally show symptoms of it at around the age of 5.
Triggers such as airborne pollen cause inflammation in the lungs and the airways.Allergens such as dust mites and mold also cause allergies. The body responds to these allergens by antibodies. These antibodies are proteins that are formed in the body in response to foreign substances entering the body. Cold or other respiratory infections flare up childhood asthma.
Asthma is also heredity and it seems to run in the family. There is a higher possibility of a child having asthma if his/her brothers, sisters, or parents have it. The risk of having it increases if both the parents have it. Due to some reason, if the mother has asthma the risk of having it increases
Certain types of allergies increase a child's risk of developing asthma. A personprone to have allergies is believed to have atopy.This tendency is passed on from the child’s parents to the child.
Symptoms of asthma:
- Repeated, irregular coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Congestion in the chest
- Chest pain, chiefly in younger children
- Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
- Worsened coughing or wheezingdue to cold or flu
- Delay in recovery following a respiratory infection
- Difficulty in breathing that may hinderexercise or play
- A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
Need for emergency treatment may arise if a child:
- Stopsduring a conversation to catch his/her breath
- Makes use of abdominal muscles to breathe
- Has widened nostrils when inhaling
- Experiences the abdomen sucked under his/her ribs when he/she inhales.