Does my child have asthma?
As adults we know when something is wrong with our body. And if you’re asthmatic, you'll probably know when you’re having an attack – your chest starts to tighten, you begin to wheeze and you're short of breath.
However, toddlers and young children struggle to communicate this to their parents. So how do you know when your child has asthma?Time to take note
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), you should make a note of the following and speak to your doctor if you’re concerned your child may have asthma:
- Do you have a family history of asthma or allergies?
If your child is susceptible to asthma, the AAFA says you should take note of these warning signs:
- Any fast or noisy breathing.
Newborns take more breaths per minute compared to a two year old. The average healthy adult takes between 12 and 20 breaths per minute.
It might not be asthma
Asthma symptoms can mimic symptoms of a number of other illnesses or diseases. These include:
- Acid reflux or aspiration
The challenges of childhood asthma
“The biggest challenge is that the asthma medication is usually inhaled, which is nearly impossible for a toddler,” explains Dr Naidoo. She says you will need to use a spacer device that helps get the medication to the small airways where the swelling is. “Young children are vulnerable because they can’t communicate their symptoms well. There are also a number of other illnesses that mimic asthma, which makes diagnosis challenging. However all major asthma medications are available for all ages and asthma in toddlers can be completely controlled.”Image credit: iStock