Asthma in Children - Symptoms

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What were the symptoms of your child's asthma?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black square:

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma in children?

The most common symptoms of childhood asthma are coughing and wheezing.

  1. Coughing is typically non-productive and can frequently be the only symptom. When it is the only symptom, this is termed cough-variant asthma.
  2. Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound produced by turbulent airflow through narrowed airways.

Other common symptoms include:

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Chest tightness
  3. Poor exercise endurance

Symptoms are often worse with exertion or during the night. Night cough is also common. Symptoms are also typically exacerbated by viral upper respiratory infections, and these viral symptoms can linger for weeks in children with asthma, whereas age-controlled counterparts tend to recover much sooner. Symptoms can also have a seasonal variation, which can be due to environmental allergies. Tobacco smoke commonly aggravates symptoms, and secondhand tobacco smoke is not only a risk factor for developing childhood asthma, but also complicates asthma control. Children with asthma often have a history of recurrent bronchitis or even a recurrent croup-like cough.

The physical exam in asthma is often completely normal. Occasionally, wheezing is present. In an asthma exacerbation, the respiratory rate increases, the heart rate increases, and children can look as if breathing is much more difficult. They may require accessory muscles to breath, and retractions of the chest wall adjacent to the ribs are common. Younger children may become lethargic and less interested in feeding. It is important to note that blood oxygen levels typically remain fairly normal even in the midst of a significant asthma exacerbation.

Return to Asthma in Children

See what others are saying

Comment from: Proudmommy, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 14

My son was 4 years old and he would cough at night. The doctors said it was just allergies. A couple of months after visiting the doctor he starting wheezing badly and was short of breath. I took him to the ER because he was having an asthma attack.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: ARunau, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 30

I took my 11 yr old son to the doctor the other day for the following symptoms: low grade fever, cough, sore throat, running nose. The nurse practitioner's exam consisted of listening to his chest and nothing else. No questions ie: is it a productive cough, what color is his mucus, how long has he had a fever etc. Next thing I know she is giving him a "breathing treatment" and telling me that I will learn that his allergies and asthma go hand in hand.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!