In diagnosing childhood asthma, it’s important to check what symptoms are prevalent and how long they have been occurring. Some children may not necessarily have asthma, though they can have an occasional wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, tiredness and colds. Keep in mind however that you shouldn’t ignore these signs in your child, even though it has not been termed asthma. Try to find out the cause and seek the necessary treatment where applicable.
For children who have been diagnosed for sure, it’s best to keep them away from whatever triggers the asthma, especially smoke and also follow-up on their medication. If a child is kept an eye on with proper medication of administration, the asthma will be brought under considerable control.
Your involvement in your child’s treatment is very important as the doctor can rely on your account of severity or re occurrence of asthma in the child, to generate an Asthma Action Plan for the child’s diagnosis and treatment.
Here are a number of scenarios with which to determine if your child has asthma, so that you can get the necessary medical help:
- If your otherwise healthy child begins to cough so hard at night or have to severally wake up from sleep to cough. It could also be that your child wheeze or showcases certain asthma symptoms during a season of the year. This could be a mild form of asthma or a seasonal one
- Your child has been well and generally healthy until some few months ago when you started noticing that he or she breathes faster than usual, coughs deeply at night and is always waiting to catch his or breath during activities. You may have also noticed some very obvious and loud wheezing and on many occasions breathe harder than usual. This may not happen frequently but after a while , you realize that its intense when it happens and may last for a number of day. Your child may be having allergic asthma and needs a medical evaluation.
- Your child may have had an intense cold a couple of months back. By virtue of this bad cold he /she wheezed for well over 3 weeks and though you didn’t take the child to the doctor, the wheezing ended on its own. Fats forward to 3 months later and you now notice that your child gets a cold every month, with intense wheezing and tightening of the chest. The child also need to take deep breaths whenever the cold happens but once the cold goes the breathing is normal and everything else is just fine. Your child may be having a Reactive airway disease (RAD) and needs a doctor.
- Your toddler is a generally healthy baby but has had too many colds since birth. Lately, the cold now comes with intensity every other week, causing audible wheezing, difficult and fast breathing. Overtime, you may notice that even when the baby isn’t down with a cold, there is still wheezing which may last for several days. This could be infant asthma and can be outgrown with proper care.
- Your very outgoing, energetic or playful child suddenly begins to complain of fatigue and chest tightness during play activities. He or she gradually stats to withdraw from gains because they feel pain or experience breath loss. You may also notice that very frequently, the child may cough hard when he pushes his or herself to play or tend to slow down to take deep breaths before resuming play. Your child is experiencing exercise induced bronchospasm (EIB).
Once you suspect your child wheezes unusually or has an asthma attack, let a doctor know. The doctor may be able to figure out if it’s really asthma and what kind it is and administer treatment. Depending on the child’s age and type of asthma, the doctor may recommend oral drugs, liquid medications delivered alongside an asthma nebulizer or inhaled asthma drugs.