Your Child's Frequent Coughing May Be A Sign Of Asthma
Dry prolonged coughing, especially at night, may be your child having respiratory distress.
**This is for informational purpose only and should not replace you consulting with a medical professional.**
Asthma causes swelling of the airways making it difficult to breathe. Asthma is deadly and is one of the most chronic childhood illnesses. My mini me is one of the over 6 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. with asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma is one of the top causes of missed school days. Asthmatic children ages 5 to 18 missed 13.8 million school days in 2013.
My daughter was diagnosed early, however, identifying one of her major symptoms was still a challenge—despite my own childhood history. She would have frequent coughing but I didn’t connect the dots, since it was not always accompanied by the classic symptoms. It was while having a talk with her pediatrician, that it was realized that baby girl’s coughing was indeed early signs of upper respiratory distress.
There are three basic asthmatic symptoms: wheezing, shortness of breath, and extreme coughing. Asthmatic cough is the hardest of the three symptoms to identify. My baby girl (who is now six) used to visit the emergency room for asthma as frequently as four to five times, just in the cold months. She has also been hospitalized three times for asthma.
Now she has a health coach through her primary care, and an outlined "asthma action plan" that is followed at home with copies given to her school and any caregiver. The goal of the action plan is to ensure better use of both preventative and rescue medicine, as well as, to help minimize the frequency of asthma attacks, emergency room visits and hospital admittance. At home her asthma is treated with a preventative inhaler (Flovent), managed with rescue inhalers (albuterol inhaler or solution), as well as, oral steroids when it gets severe.
Here are a few signs that may suggest your child may be having an asthmatic cough, from a parent with an asthmatic child.
Your child has extreme dry coughing, which tends to get worse at night.
Your child’s cough gets worse during active play or during extensive time in cold air.
Your child’s cough make him/her fatigued and frequently awaken him/her from their sleep.
Your child starts coughing with rapidly changing weather patterns—when it gets too hot or cold too quickly.
Your child’s cough (dry or not) lingers more than two weeks, and your child complains about chest pain when coughing.