People often associate summer as the worst time of year for children who live with asthma, but that’s not necessarily true. For some kids, the cold of winter can be more detrimental for their symptoms.
No matter what time of year it is, it’s important for parents and adults who work with children to know the warning signs of asthma and for children who show those symptoms to see a doctor.
Signs and Symptoms
Asthma is a potentially life-threatening condition that has seen a significant increase in cases nationwide, jumping nearly 15 percent over 10 years. Asthma is a swelling within the breathing tube. It can be dangerous if it is unnoticed or misdiagnosed.
Often, parents question whether their child’s breathing issues are a result of seasonal allergies, a cold, or something more serious. It’s important to be on the lookout for several signs that may indicate a serious respiratory issue:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness or pain in the chest
- Chest congestion
- Wheezing or whistling sound while breathing
- Wheezing coughs
Other symptoms include longer recovery periods from illnesses like colds or sinus infections, lingering coughs, and quickly getting tired during physical activity.
The first step toward getting a child’s asthma under control is seeing a doctor. They will assess the child, and based on that assessment, guidelines are given to help to improve the child’s quality of life.
The doctor may also prescribe a medication and inhaled therapy if the child meets certain criteria. Most asthma medications are taken daily, and inhaled therapy, or inhalers, are used as needed to control symptoms.
An asthma diagnosis does not mean a child can’t go out and play, exercise or have fun on summer vacation. In fact, exercise helps to strengthen the lungs and improve lung function, so it can be good for children with asthma. It just means that certain steps must be taken in order to control the symptoms to keep the child happy and healthy.