A Calgary Pediatric Sleep Clinic That Puts Children First

Asthma in children

Asthma is the most common lung childhood condition. It is estimated to affect as many as 20% of Canadian children and youth (1 in 5 kids!) Fortunately, most forms of asthma in children are mild to moderate – and can be treated with simple, easy-to-use medications prescribed by your doctor.

Does My Child Have Asthma?

For a parent, witnessing a child having an asthma attack is frightening as they struggle to breathe. Children with asthma display symptoms such as wheezing, severe shortness of breath, persistent cough and tightness in the chest. They may have difficulty sleeping when experiencing an attack, and miss school or social activities. If your child shows any of these signs (for the first time) you should visit your pediatrician or an emergency clinic as soon as possible.

Common triggers include exposure to:

  • Airborne pollen
  • Physical exertion (running/excitement)
  • Pet hair, dander or saliva
  • Weather (cold air/ high humidity)
  • Dust or mould
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Food allergies

Common risk factors can be:

  • Family history
  • Early childhood respiratory infections
  • Low birth weight, and respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) at birth

Risk Factors For Asthma

While we still don’t know exactly why children are prone to developing asthma in early childhood, we have identified several risk factors. This includes:

  • Family history (including asthma, allergies and eczema)
  • Early exposure to allergens (pets, dust mites, mould, or tobacco smoke) as a baby
  • Early childhood respiratory infections
  • Low birth weight, and respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) at birth
  • Being overweight or obese

Treatment Options

Most patients can control asthma and live completely normal lives using puffer medication (inhalers). Your child can still play sports, enjoy the outdoors or be around pets.

Not sure if your child has asthma? Take our Asthma quiz!