- Chest Tightness
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty breathing with exercise
- Need for use of relief inhaler for respiratory symptoms
Some children experience what is called “cough-variant asthma” with their only symptom being cough at night. Other children may experience “exercise-induced” asthma with symptoms of cough, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath only with exercise or while at play. Yet other children may experience symptoms of asthma all day long or only at certain times of the year.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, accounting for 47.8% of the emergency department visits and 34.6% of the hospitalizations in children less than 18 years old (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Asthma accounts for 14 million lost days of school annually, and costs $3.2 billion per year in treatment for the under 18 population. The indirect costs from lost productivity of family members who need to care for their sick children may well be triple the direct costs. National asthma prevalence rates are estimated at 8-10% with prevalence rates estimated as high as 20-25% for certain inner-city areas in Southern California. Low-income and uninsured residents are disproportionately affected by asthma because they do not have access to preventive and ongoing medical care, often relying on episodic and urgent care for acute asthma attacks.
Different “triggers” can affect asthma.