How to Recognize
Asthma in Children
Check for symptoms of childhood asthma
Just as not all kids are alike, not all children with asthma have the same symptoms. Only a doctor can diagnose the type of asthma your child may have and determine its severity. The doctor may perform a lung function test, ask about medical history (including which symptoms your child has and how often they occur) and do a physical exam.
Your child's asthma symptoms can also vary over time. The type of symptoms, how often they occur and how severe they are can range from being just annoying, to being bothersome enough to limit daily activities, to requiring hospitalization.
Asthma symptoms in kids include1:
- Wheezing or coughing at night
- Sleeping poorly due to trouble breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty breathing during or after physical activity
Does your child have these asthma symptoms and frequent respiratory infections? If so, he or she may be at a higher risk of developing asthma that continues beyond six years of age. Other risk factors include having allergies, eczema (an allergic skin condition) or parents who have asthma.1
Most, but not all, children who have asthma also have allergies. So it's important to identify asthma triggers, such as mold, dust, pollen and dander, that can cause asthma attacks in your child.
Concerned that your child may have asthma? Use the asthma symptoms checklist and then talk with your child's healthcare provider.