When my son was just two I noticed that whenever he had a cough. It would take months to go away. I would mention it to his doctor, but would usually get the response of, “it’s just a virus”. One day in particular, he was coughing so much that he couldn’t sleep or even say the alphabet without gasping for air every couple of letters.
I took him to the doctor again and forced them to listen more closely to his breathing and wheezing. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with asthma and was put on a daily dose of medication. Two years later he’s stronger than ever.
So how can you tell the different between “just a virus”, “just allergies”, or something much more serious?
Here are some general symptoms to look out for:
- Coughing a lot (usually at night), especially after running or laughing a lot.
- Strained neck and chest muscles while breathing
- Little to no appetite
- Fast breathing
- Dark circles under their eyes
- Low energy or weakness
- Wheezing while breathing
Of course, even if your child has all of the symptoms, he or she still may not be formally “asthmatic” but it’s a good idea to bring it to their doctor’s attention anyway. On the other hand, your child may just have one or two of these symptoms and is still considered asthmatic.
Asthma is the most common cause of chronic illness among kids. Be your child’s biggest health advocate and get the help they need.