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Facts About Childhood Asthma

by | Apr 30, 2024

Facts About Childhood Asthma

Childhood asthma affects millions of kids and can cause some uncomfortable symptoms. Read along as KidsStreet Urgent Care discusses childhood asthma facts!

What is Asthma?

Asthma affects the tubes that carry air to and from the lungs. Think of it like the airways always being a bit swollen and irritated, even when the full-on symptoms aren’t present. This makes it hard for your child to breathe.

Asthma affects about 6 million kids across the U.S., but it’s not contagious. In fact, you can develop asthma at any age.

While we don’t know the cause of asthma, doctors say it does run in the family. Your child has a higher likelihood of suffering from asthma if they have immediate family members with the condition. 

Symptoms of Asthma

Symptoms of asthma can vary depending on time of year and your child’s specific triggers. You can help your kiddo when their symptoms flare up by working with their provider to create an asthma action plan. An action plan helps you and your child identify what causes asthma attacks, how to avoid triggers, and how they can manage their symptoms.

Some of the most common asthma symptoms in kids include: 

  • Chest tightness
  • Impaired lung function
  • Trouble breathing or they are short of breath
  • Asthma attacks
  • Wheezing when exhaling
  • Frequent coughing
  • Poor sleep because of difficulty breathing or coughing

For many people – adults and kids alike – viral infections exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Is your child experiencing any of these symptoms? KidsStreet can help! We treat asthma symptoms in our urgent care services for kids

Symptoms of Asthma Attacks

Some kids have asthma attacks when they encounter certain triggers. These attacks make it especially difficult to breathe and can be extremely scary for children and parents alike. 

When your child experiences an asthma attack, their body reacts in a few ways:

  • Bronchospasms – This happens when the muscles around the airway constrict. 
  • Excessive Mucus Production – Your child’s body starts producing too much mucus which can make it hard for them to breathe.
  • Inflammation – This happens when the lungs and airways swell.

Most attacks can be treated with asthma medications like inhalers. In the case of severe asthma attacks that last a long time, we recommend visiting your nearest emergency department. 

Fact #1: Asthma is a Chronic Condition

Asthma is a chronic condition meaning it never fully goes away. However, some kids grow up and never experience symptoms of their asthma again. This can be because their airways grow and their lungs develop better capacity as they age.

Either way, you can help your child live a normal life by managing their asthma with the right medications and action plans. With the right treatment, your kiddo can play sports and other physical activities just like everyone else!

Fact #2: Asthma Triggers Can Be Managed

Asthma triggers are things that can worsen your child’s symptoms or cause them to have flare-ups. We’ve rounded up the most common triggers for asthma here:

  • Pet dander
  • Pollen 
  • Colds and respiratory infections
  • Air pollution
  • Allergies 
  • Dust mites
  • Mold

Having trouble figuring out what your child’s triggers are? We recommend writing down the place, time of year and environmental factors your child is in when they experience flare-ups. 

Noting these triggers can help you determine what to avoid so your child doesn’t have flare ups. You can also list any triggers in your child’s asthma action plan. This will help others easily identify the cause of their flare-up and how to treat it. 

Fact #3: Asthma Symptoms Are Treatable 

You can treat your kiddo’s asthma in a few different ways. Their provider will likely prescribe asthma medicines. These can be especially useful when they are experiencing flare-ups or asthma attacks. 

Some of the most common types of medicines for asthma management are: 

  • Long term control medications such as corticosteroids and beta agonists 
  • Quick-relief medications like emergency inhalers 
  • Allergy medications to help with triggers in the spring and summertime

We recommend talking with your child’s pediatrician to determine the best asthma treatment plans for them. They can help you figure out the options that work for your child and talk through any potential side effects.

Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care

Having difficulty treating your child’s asthma? Have no fear, KidsStreet is here!

To visit one of our kid-focused clinics, register online. You will be able to wait from home or in your vehicle until we are ready to see you. 

KidsStreet loves walk-ins and welcomes them every day! However, we highly recommend registering ahead of your visit as it reduces in-clinic wait times. Walk-ins join the same queue as those who register online.

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