By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
Asthma comes in attacks. The child has difficulties with breathing and coughs. Most children with asthma have a normal childhood, when treated with the right medication. Call the doctor immediately, if the child is having trouble breathing and has a fever.
Children can be allergic to different things such as dust, pollen, fur-bearing animals or food. When the child gets in contact with the allergy-causing subject, this can lead to allergy illnesses such as asthma, child-eczema and hay fever.
Small children often catch a cold. Some of them cough for weeks and have wheezing breathing – it almost sounds like a coffee-machine that needs descaling. You call such long-term coughing with wheezing breathing asthmatic bronchitis. The characteristic of asthmatic bronchitis is that it only appears when the child has a cold. Most children with asthmatic bronchitis outgrows the illness before they start in school but with some children, it continues as asthma. It is difficult to predict which children outgrows their asthmatic bronchitis and which children has asthma later on.
Asthma is a common illness. It has not yet been fully identified what causes asthma. Studies have shown that allergy, tobacco-smoke, common cold and physical activity (play and sport) can trigger an asthma-attack, when having asthma. Many children with asthma are also allergic to certain things.
An asthma-attack often starts simultaneously with a common cold. After a few days with a cold, the child has trouble breathing and the cough worsens. The child has particular trouble blowing air out and the breath out is accompanied by wheezing and squeaking sounds from the chest.
It can be difficult to detect because children are good at “hiding” that they have trouble breathing. For example, a child is keen on playing football as long as the child is a goalkeeper. The child is also willing to play with other children, but preferably indoors in front of the computer. You should consider whether your child suffers from asthma if it repeatedly has prolonged cough.