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Asthma

Know the symptoms

Asthma is a common long-term condition that can be well controlled in most children. The severity of asthma symptoms varies between children, from very mild to more severe. Parents learn how to be prepared and how to recognise symptoms and deal with them.

Asthma affects the airways and makes it difficult to breathe and causes wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and can make the chest feel tight.

A sudden, severe onset of symptoms is known as an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can sometimes be managed at home but may require hospital treatment. They are occasionally life threatening.

Triggers can include exercise (especially in cold weather), an allergy with dust mites, animal fur, grass and tree pollen or exposure to air pollution, especially tobacco smoke or a cold virus. Asthma often runs in families.
Call 999 to seek immediate medical assistance if your child has severe symptoms of asthma.

GP says

Your GP will normally be able to diagnose asthma by asking about your child’s symptoms, examining their chest and listening to their breathing. They will want to know about your child’s medical history and whether there is a history of allergic conditions in your family. They will also want to know about the circumstances surrounding the onset of your child's symptoms, such as when and where it happened, because this could help to identify the possible trigger(s) of their asthma.

Health Visitor says

Smoking during pregnancy or around your child can increase risk of asthma. Breastfeeding for as long as possible can help reduce risk of getting asthma.

Symptoms of asthma

Symptoms include repeated coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath and bringing up mucus. Symptoms often get worse at night.

One

My child seems to wheeze and cough a lot, it seems to get worse at night.

Two

Have you tried reducing any possible amounts of dust around the home?
Do you smoke? Have you discussed with your Health Visitor?

Three

If symptoms persist see your GP. If your child has a serious asthma attack call 999.

Source: DoH Birth to five edition 2009.