Asthma Symptoms in Young Children

By Carolyn Williams

  • Overview

    Asthma, while worrying, is a reasonably easy condition to manage in children. Management of the condition does require staying on top of symptoms, however, to ensure that any attack doesn't become severe. Asthma in young children requires that you are cognizant of, and carefully manage, any symptoms to help arrest the attack.
  • Coughing

    In young children, asthma often presents itself as a dry cough. If your child has recently had a cold and seems to have a cough that just won't go away, even 10 days after the cold symptoms have disappeared, be aware that this may be a symptom of an asthma condition. It's worth investigating with your pediatrician to ensure that any potential asthma is diagnosed and properly managed.
  • Wheezing

    In young children, wheezing can be subtle and hard to spot. You might be used to adult wheezing, which is loud and unmistakable. But in young children, wheezing can seem as silent as a soft whistle. If you even suspect wheezing, contact a medical professional immediately as it's a signal that the attack is closing the airways and needs to be treated immediately.


  • Sunken Eyes

    Many young, asthmatic children have deep circles under their eyes at the beginning of an asthma attack, causing their eyes to appear sunken. If this is combined with a bad cough, especially if it's exacerbated by activity or cold, see your doctor for a conclusive diagnosis.
  • Activity

    If your child is breathless after running around, there's little need to worry. Kids often run and play until they're breathless. But if your child is truly unable to catch her breath after a simple game of tag and begins to cough, have her checked for asthma. It could be that she has asthma that is brought on by athletic activity.
  • Eczema

    For reasons that are as yet unclear, many asthmatic youngsters also suffer from eczema. It could be that there's a linkage between the susceptibility to irritants in the soft skin of the elbow and knee, similar to the susceptibility to irritants that trigger an asthma attack in the lungs. There's not a clear answer readily available. But journaling when eczema occurs can help identify when an attack is being triggered as the eczema is often a precursor to an attack.
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