Childhood Asthma: Expert Explains Causes And Coping Mechanism

Asthma attacks in children can be controlled most of the time, but sometimes they can be frightening and distressing.

Written by: Varun Verma Updated at: 2023-03-16 15:47

Do you know that asthma can affect children as it affects adults? Asthma in children is common and can be severe too. There are various causes that can lead to asthma in children. To learn more about the causes and how to cope with childhood asthma, the OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Harish V S, MBBS, Diploma in Child Health (UK), Member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK), CCT Pediatrics (UK), Senior Consultant Paediatrician & Paediatric Pulmonologist, Apollo Cradle and Children's Hospital, Chennai.

What is Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a common condition among children in India. Asthma attacks in children can be controlled most of the time, but sometimes they can be frightening and distressing. Asthma affects the small airway tubes in the lungs in children and adults. The airway tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs get narrowed, and this leads to the child getting breathless or wheezy. During an acute episode of asthma, the child can present with cough, noisy breathing, difficulty in breathing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and a sometimes sore tummy.

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What are the Causes?

Dr Harish stated the following causes of childhood asthma.

Common Triggers

According to Dr Harish, "The most frequent sources of asthma triggers in children under five are viral illnesses. For children above five years of age, older children, and adults, irritants like tobacco smoke, chemicals, and allergies like pollen, animal, and dust mites play a major role as triggers. Exercise can also be a major trigger in older children. If the child's close family members have asthma or eczema, the child is more likely to develop asthma."


"When the smaller airways become clogged due to the aforementioned reasons, an individual with asthma wheezes, which is a high-pitched whistling sound. When the airway is narrowed in a child with asthma, air moves in and out of the lungs with great difficulty. More mucus is produced in the narrow airway pipes, making them narrower," added Dr Harish.

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Outlook for Children with Asthma

Dr Hairsh mentioned that asthma in children improves and disappears as they get older. If the asthma is mild and if the treatment is taken properly, the child will get better. If allergies cause asthma, it is less likely to get better as the child gets older.

How to Cope with Childhood Asthma

Most children do well and lead a normal life if they take their medication correctly and attend regular medical reviews. As more schools are getting aware of childhood asthma, it is important that your child's school should know about the child's condition. The parents of the child will need to provide an inhaler to the school for the child to use during an asthma episode, as inhalers are the best modality to treat asthma, as per Dr Harish.

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