Asthma is a breathing condition caused by tightening of the small airway tubes of the lungs (bronchioles). Thin muscles that surround these tubes can go into spasm during an asthma attack making breathing very difficult. Also, the lining of the tubes can swell and produce a thick mucus, which further inhibits breathing. During an attack, a child may cough, wheeze, be short of breath, or have a tight feeling in the chest. Asthma tends to occur in families where others have asthma, hay fever or eczema. Many children may outgrow asthma, as their airways grow larger with age. During an attack

Keep you child calm during an asthma attack. Stress can make the symptoms worse. Do not give your child antihistamines (Benadryl) during an attack; it may make breathing more difficult. What brings on an attack?


Common triggers:


Other causes:

Pollen Cold air
Molds Strenuous exercise
Dust Certain foods
Animal dander Stress
Colds and the flu Tobacco smoke
    Air pollution
    Car emissions

Home care ideas


If you suspect that your child has asthma, your doctor should evaluate him or her. Children may be treated with inhaled medications that can open the airways and prevent attacks from becoming too serious.

Some information adapted form The WorkCare Group, Inc. 2000