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Asthma Symptoms

Symptoms of Childhood Illnesses


Updated February 04, 2006

Updated February 04, 2006
Parents often think that asthma should be easy to diagnose, and it can be when kids have typical symptoms, a classic asthma attack, and a strong family history of allergies and asthma.

A diagnosis of asthma can be a little more difficult to make in younger children, especially when they have subtle symptoms, like a chronic cough without wheezing.

Asthma Symptoms

Typical asthma symptoms can include one or more of the following:
  • wheezing

  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing

  • coughing, either during the day or at night, but often worse at night and with exercise and activity

  • chest pain or chest tightness

  • decreases in your child's usual or predicted peak flow or poor performance on pulmonary function tests
You might also suspect that your child has asthma if he is not able to exercise or be as active as other children his age, if it seems like his coughs seem to linger much longer than other kids when he gets a cold, or if he isn't sleeping well because a cough often wakes him up.

What You Need To Know

  • Talk to your Pediatrician if you think your child has any asthma symptoms.

  • A Pediatric Pulmonologist is an asthma specialist that can help diagnose and treat kids with asthma, especially when a child has subtle symptoms and the diagnosis of asthma is not very clear cut.

  • Younger children can cough and wheeze, which are typical asthma symptoms, when they have a viral infection, such as RSV, and it doesn't mean that they have asthma.

  • There are other things that can cause a chronic cough besides asthma, including gastroesophageal reflux, allergies, whooping cough, etc.

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