Asthma and Children

Asthma and Children

What causes childhood asthma?

The majority of children with asthma have allergies. Even exposure to low-grade allergens (those that don't cause significant allergic reactions) may increase the severity of a child's asthma. In addition, allergies may play a role in undiagnosed asthma cases. Other triggers of childhood asthma may include:

However, with proper management of the asthma, such as avoiding triggers, taking prescribed medications, monitoring for warning signs, and knowing what to do during an asthma attack, a child with asthma can conduct a healthy and active lifestyle.

Do children outgrow childhood asthma?

How asthma will affect a child throughout his or her lifetime depends on the child. Many infants and toddlers have an episode or two of wheezing during viral illnesses (such as cold or flu). However, the majority of these children don't go on to develop asthma later in life. For some children with persistent wheezing and asthma during childhood, the condition improves during the teenage years. About half of the children who have asthma at a young age appear to "outgrow" it, although the asthma symptoms may reappear later in life. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, asthma can't be cured, but can be controlled with proper and adequate diagnosis, education, and treatment.

If my child has asthma, can they participate in sports?

Picture of a young girl, holding her softball bat and glove

Exercise, such as running, may trigger an asthma attack in the majority of children with asthma. However, with proper management of the child's asthma, a child with asthma can maintain full participation in most sports. Aerobic exercise actually improves airway function by strengthening breathing muscles. Some tips for exercising with asthma include the following:

Asthma and school

Some children with asthma may need to take their medications during school hours. It's important that the child, family, doctor, and school staff all work together toward meeting the child's asthma treatment goals. To ensure optimal asthma care for your child at school, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends the following:

Picture of a young girl, smiling

Giving your child control of asthma throughout the years

It's very important to be honest with your child about his or her disease, the severity of the disease, and the use of medications. Always remember as your child grows that independence is an important goal. Children with asthma don't want to be different, yet they'll need guidance and supervision on any restrictions they might have:

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Online Resources of Allergy & Asthma

 

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