All responsible parents are totally devoted to their kids. Caring and nurturing is all part of the scene. Looking after their health is also a vital part of parenting. But knowing what signs to look for is something most parents are not trained to do.
Asthma and allergy asthma has become one of the most common modern day illnesses so being aware of the symptoms is something you really need to know.
Following are some tell tale signs you can look for to see if your kids are likely to be suffering from asthma.
Childhood asthma – what is it?
Asthma is an obstructive respiratory condition with characteristic frequent attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing and an irritated cough. In other words, asthma can be defined as a chronic illness in childhood.
So just be aware that from the ages of between 3 to 8 years asthma can often be found in children.
Fortunately with the advances of modern science asthma can be quite easily controlled and the asthmatic person can lead a relatively normal life with the use of medication when required.
Child asthma – what actually happens?
Our lungs are one of the most important respiratory organs in our body; they are responsible for the exchange of gases between our surroundings and the body. When air enters into the human body, it is filtered, warmed and humidified. It then passes through the trachea into the bronchi of the lungs branching out into the bronchioles and alveoli.
When a child or an adult for that matter too, suffers from an asthma attack, these airways narrow swell and produce excess mucous.
Wheezing is a whistle type sound and is caused when the air flows into the lungs during an asthma attack. When the child exhales mild wheezing occurs and when he exhales out his whole breath more severe wheezing sounds can be heard. Sometimes in the case of extreme asthma wheezing may be absent as no air passes through the airways.
With asthma a cough may be of a chronic or recurring nature and will usually worsen at night or in the early hours of the morning. Sometimes a cough may be the only symptom of asthma especially in any type that has been aggravated by exercise or asthma occurring in the night time only. In nocturnal asthma a cough occurs mostly in the early hours of the morning.
Tightness and a pain in the chest are found mostly in exercise induced asthma – the child may feel tightness and pain in his chest and there may be no other symptoms of asthma. Here are some other common symptoms of asthma to watch for:
- Flaring of the nostrils when breathing in
- Interrupted talking
- Rapid breathing
- Anxious or scared look on the child’s face
- Hunched over body posture
- Pursed lips while trying to draw in breath
- Excessive clearing of the throat
- Fatigue that is not related to exercise or activity.
- Asthma can be different depending on whether it is a mild attack, moderate, or more severe.
Keep a good eye out for these symptoms:
When it is a milder asthma attack: During mild asthma attacks kids may feel breathlessness. This may even happen after a simple physical walk or from playing in the garden with siblings and friends. Another sign is that they may feel restless.
A baby with asthma may have a softer shorter cry and the child may not be able to finish the usual quantity of his/her feed.
Symptoms during a more relentless asthma attack: During this type of asthma attack, children may feel out of breathe while resting and they may well talk in words rather than in sentences. Infants will not feed in this situation or may feel restless during the time of feeding.
And symptoms indicating that breathing may stop during an asthma attack. The child may feel sleepy and confused, older children may stop breathing, and infants will stop feeding.
If you happen to recognize any of these symptoms in your child then, to be on the safe side, consult your family doctor immediately. It could well be the beginnings of asthma.