Asthma is the most common serious disease among children. Nine million children in the United States have asthma.
Its primary cause is an inflammation of the airways in the lungs. This inflammation makes the airways smaller, which makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs.
Signs that your child might have asthma include:
A wheezing or a whistling sound when your child exhales.
Shortness of breath or rapid breathing.
Many children with asthma have "allergic asthma," which means that allergens -- like dust mites, mold, animal dander, pollen and cockroaches -- make their symptoms worse.
Asthma is a serious disease, but it is a disease that can be well managed. With help from an allergist/immunologist and from parents and caregivers, children with asthma can lead lives very similar to those of their friends who don't have asthma.
More Information about Childhood Asthma
Childhood Asthma Easy Reader Handout (PDF)
Childhood Asthma Easy Reader Handout (Español) (PDF)
Other Diseases Related to Asthma
Referral Guidelines - Asthma