Asthma is a lung condition in which the airways narrow and swell, encouraging the production of extra mucus which can make breathing slightly difficult.
The lungs and airways of a person affected by asthma can become easily inflamed and irritated when exposed to particular triggers, such as inhaling pollen, catching a cold or any other respiratory viruses.
It is a common condition and can affect people of all ages, but usually develops in early childhood. It is the most common long-term medical condition in children in the UK, with around 1 in 11 children and young people known to be living with it.
Signs of asthma in children
Common childhood asthma symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or whistling sound when breathing out
- Chest tightness
- Frequent coughing that worsens when your child has a viral infection, is triggered by exercise or cold air or occurs while your child is sleeping
Childhood asthma can also cause:
- Disruption to sleep
- Delayed recovery and bronchitis or developmental pneumonia after a respiratory infection
- Fatigue caused by lack of sleep
It is important to seek medical advice if your child is showing any of the signs or symptoms listed, as a diagnosis will help you to better understand your child’s needs and will enable you to receive appropriate support and treatment.
While there is currently no known cure for asthma, the right treatment plan can allow symptoms to be controlled and prevent damage to growing lungs.
Inhalers, which are devices that allow you to inhale medication, are the most common form of treatment for childhood asthma. However, treatment options are fully dependent on the severity of the condition and this is reviewed on a case by case basis.
A personal action plan will usually be created with your child’s doctor or asthma specialist – this will include information about your child’s selected method of treatment, how to monitor the condition and what to do if an asthma attack occurs.
If an inhaler alone is not sufficient in controlling your child’s symptoms, other treatment options include:
- Certain oral medications
- Complementary therapies
- Surgical intervention
As part of our children and young people services at One Hatfield Hospital, we have a team of dedicated paediatricians that are on hand to diagnose, treat and support children with asthma and their families.
Why One Hatfield
- Modern purpose-built hospital opened in December 2017
- Fast access to diagnostics including MRI, X-ray and Ultrasound
- Private, spacious, en-suite rooms
- Specialist physiotherapy and nursing teams
- Little or no waiting time
- ‘Ultra clean air’ theatres
- Freshly prepared food
- Calm, dignified experience
Contact us and find out more
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