For children with asthma, common items and activities can trigger an attack. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that, when exposed to a trigger, causes airways to swell and tighten and makes it hard to breathe. Children who suffer from asthma may make a wheezing or gasping sound while experiencing difficulty breathing.
While no definitive cause for asthma is known, doctors believe it may have its roots in genetics passed down through families, or in environmental factors or illnesses.
If you suspect your child may have asthma, please schedule an appointment with their pediatrician. They can perform several tests to determine if your child has asthma, and can help you understand treatment options.
Common Asthma Triggers
Many things can trigger an asthma attack. The most common trigger is a viral upper respiratory infection, or “the common cold.” Tobacco smoke is another common trigger, so it’s important for parents to keep their children away from cigarette smoke, and ensure their home is a smoke-free environment. Everyday products, environmental conditions, cockroach droppings, medications and seasonal weather changes can be triggers for children with asthma as well. Pollen, mold and dust are common allergens that can cause an asthma attack, as can household irritants like strong perfume and chemical cleaning products. Fluctuations in weather, like cold, heat, humidity and wind can cause asthma symptoms to flare up as well. Even strenuous exercise, like running, can cause an asthma attack.
If your child has asthma, it’s important to be mindful of these triggers so that you can manage your child’s exposure to them.
Resources for Parents
- Valley Children’s Health Encyclopedia: