The citizens of California have faced more than just emotional distress over the mounting issues posed by the California wildfires in October; they have also expressed concern over the health ailments it has caused. Research has found that those suffering from lung diseases like asthma are especially susceptible to the smoke caused by the fires and has been found to leave a layer of haze over areas that has been described as the “worst air quality on record.” The amount of people filling asthma prescriptions and visiting the ER for asthma attacks has skyrocketed due to the wildfires.
Kids who have asthma are most likely to have adverse health effects as a result of the wildfires, but research has also showed that even children who do not have asthma are finding it difficult to catch a breath in the smoke-tainted air. It can make otherwise healthy people cough up phlegm and cause babies to have lower birth weights than they should have. Because we understand the mounting harm that these wildfires have caused, we want to help you identify the signs of asthma in your children.
Signs of Asthma in Your Child
Did you know that asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness in children, with about 7 million children affected in the U.S.? For unknown reasons, the likelihood of children receiving asthma is increasing. Though the symptoms of asthma vary from child to child, I wanted to share some of the most common symptoms to look for.
Coughing spells that happen all the time, happening during play, at night, and while crying
A chronic cough that never seems to go away
Less energy when trying to play
Complaining that their chest hurts or feels tight
Wheezing sound when breathing in or out
Shortness of breath or loss of breath upon activity
Tightened muscles in the neck and chest
Feeling weak and tired most of the time
Getting Help When Diagnosing Asthma
There are some steps you can take when you suspect asthma and are waiting to hear from your child’s pediatrician. First of all, you want to look at the circumstances surrounding your child’s case of asthma. Perhaps they have felt generally well for the first few years of their life, but seem to breathe slightly faster on occasion. They could have allergic asthma. Perhaps your child was sick when they were younger and had several weeks of wheezing, which could now give your child a form called Reactive airway disease each time they become sick.
You also want to determine how long the symptoms persist for your child. Your child could experience some of the symptoms of asthma (chest tightness, wheezing, or bad colds) and not actually have asthma. If the symptoms have been persisting for months or even years, there is a good chance they could have a form of asthma.