Have you closely and intently observed your child while playing? Does he manifest very little energy? Do you notice the frequent coughing, rapid breathing or shortness of breath? Do you always see the dark circles around his eyes? Does your child complain of chest tightness, frequent headaches or feeling of weakness? If you answered yes in most questions, most probably he has the chronic childhood asthma. There are other symptoms that you should look into like loss of appetite, tightened muscles around the neck and chest and the wheezing sound when inhaling or exhaling. These signs should never be taken for granted.
Many parents might be wondering why asthma is more rampant among children. Childhood asthma can occur at any age but usually shows up when the child reaches 5 years old. There is no exact explanation yet as to why childhood asthma is a common sickness. Experts think that exposure to allergens like air pollutants, second hand smoke and dust is a major cause of asthma among kids. Others suggest that childhood illnesses somehow develop strong immune system among children. Children who experience less sickness when younger do not develop antibodies that can fight or prevent asthma. There is a group of experts suspecting that lessened breastfeeding hindered the important body chemicals of the immune system to be transmitted to the baby.
Parents might ask how childhood asthma may be diagnosed. First, they can check the medical history. They can also run down the symptoms discussed if those are manifested by their children. Records will definitely be of great help to your child’s pediatrician. Tell your doctor everything about the medical history of your child so that the doctor can make the accurate diagnosis. Symptoms must also be explained in detail, frequency of occurrence and when the symptom started showing.
Second, have your child undergo some physical exam or tests. Using the stethoscope, the pediatrician will listen to your child’s chest part to check if there is a wheezing sound or how grave the sound is. There are chest X-ray and pulmonary tests which are called function tests which can measure how much air is in the lungs of your child. It can also assess how fast the air is exhaled. Through these tests, the pediatrician can tell whether the asthma has just started or is severe already.