Childhood Asthma

Essay by tallyroohCollege, Undergraduate April 2005

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Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition where narrowing of the passages from the lungs to

the nose and mouth leads to difficulty breathing. These changes commonly occur in

response to changes in the environment including weather, allergens, foods, or respiratory


Asthma is the number one chronic illness among children and is the most

common cause of hospitalization for children under 15 years old.

Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system commonly found in children. Asthma is a leading cause of chronic disease, and school absenteeism.

In people with asthma, the airways that run from the nasal cavity to the lungs are sensitive. Asthma is the response of these airways to a "trigger" such as dust in the air. It causes swelling and inflammation of the airways, and tightening of the muscles that surround the airways.

Children with asthma may be able to breathe normally most of the time.

When they encounter a trigger, however, an attack can occur. The following are common asthma triggers: tobacco smoke, dust, pollen, exercise, viral infections, animals,chemicals, mold, changes in weather, strong emotions and medications.

In children an attack can occur suddenly with severe symptoms. For some children taking daily medication even during times when the child is not having

symptoms of asthma may be required.

During an asthma attack, children have difficulty breathing and begin to breathe very fast. They may feel short of breath, even at rest. The child with asthma may need to use the muscles around the chest to help with breathing. Wheezing and coughing can occur during an attack, or even when a child is feeling well. A persistent night-time cough is one common sign of asthma, even in children without other symptoms.

There are two basic kinds of medication for the treatment of asthma. Long...