Skip 
Navigation Link
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Resources
Basic Information
Infant Development: How Your Baby Grows and MaturesInfant Parenting: Keeping Your Baby Healthy and HappyInfant Safety: Keeping Your Baby SafeInfant Enrichment: Stimulating Your Baby
More InformationLatest News
Intervening in Infancy Might Help Prevent Some Cases of Autism: StudyKids' Accidental Poisonings Are on the Rise: Protect Your ChildBreastfeeding May Strengthen a Baby's HeartSoothing Sound: Mom's Voice Eases Preemies' PainToppling TVs, Furniture Sending Many Young Children to ERsFor Better Breastfeeding, 'Lactation Consultants' Can HelpWhy Do Black, Hispanic Newborns Face Higher Health Risks?RSV Respiratory Illnesses Rising for Babies, Experts WarnPremature Delivery Raises Odds for Cerebral PalsyKey to Good Sleep for Toddlers Starts in InfancyHigh Curiosity in Infancy Carries Through to Toddler Years1 in 4 Parents Worries Their Young Child Isn't Reaching Milestones: PollC-Section Babies Miss Out on Mom's 'Microbiome,' But Treatment Can Change ThatSharing Bed With Baby: Dangerous, and It Won't Boost 'Attachment,' Study ShowsAHA News: Preterm Babies May Have Higher Stroke Risk as Young AdultsBabies Produce Strong Immune Response to Ward Off COVID-19: StudySkin-to-Skin Contact Could Boost Survival of Very Premature BabiesAre Babies With Seizures Overmedicated?AHA News: A Baby's Gut Bacteria May Predict Future ObesityEven Secondhand Smoke in Pregnancy Might Raise Baby's Breathing RisksBoys Born Very Prematurely May Age Faster as MenGood Bacteria Aren't Present in Baby's Gut Before BirthWhy C-Section Babies May Be at Higher Risk for a Food AllergyBeing Born Even a Bit Early Might Hamper Child's DevelopmentLow Risk of Mom Passing COVID to NewbornNewborns Won't Get COVID Through Infected Mom's Breast Milk: StudyC-Section Babies Have Microbiome Deficit, But Catch Up Over TimeMost Parents Skip Child Car Seats When Using Uber, LyftWhatever the Language, Babies LOVE Baby TalkSpotting Asthma in Your Baby or ToddlerKids' ER Visits for Swallowed Magnets Soared After U.S. Lifted Sales BanTHC From Pot Lingers in Breast Milk for Weeks: StudyBreastfeeding Moms Get Mixed Messages When Baby Has an AllergyDo Touchscreens Make Your Toddler More Distractible?Treating Mom's Postpartum Depression Could Help Baby's Brain, TooChild Car Seat Safety Tip: Skip Puffy Winter CoatsFewer Food Allergies in Kids If Mom Drinks Milk While Breastfeeding: StudyWhy a Newborn's First Breath Is So ImportantParents, Don't Worry if Baby's Sleep Is ErraticBirth Defects Tied to Rise in Lifelong Cancer RiskCOVID Can Harm the Infant HeartMore Kids Injured by Tiny Magnets After Sales Ban Was Lifted: StudyAntibiotics Before Age 2 May Up Odds for Obesity, AllergiesNewborns Are at Low COVID RiskBreastfed Babies May Grow Into Better-Adjusted Teens: StudyNewborn Brain Bleeds Resolve by Age 2Newborn Brains Don't Process Emotions Like AdultsFewer Painful Procedures Could Help Preemies' Brain Development: StudyNurses Can Make the Difference for New Moms' BreastfeedingMicroplastics Are Seeping Out of Baby's Bottle, Study Shows
Links
Related Topics

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

Spotting Asthma in Your Baby or Toddler

HealthDay News
by By Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 20th 2021

new article illustration

SATURDAY, March 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Diagnosing babies and toddlers with asthma is challenging, because it's difficult to measure lung function in this young group. What makes diagnosis easier is knowing your child's symptoms.

A leading pediatrics group offers some tips for parents who suspect their infants or toddlers may have asthma or are having symptoms that could suggest another health condition.

Your pediatrician will ask if your baby tends to wheeze, cough or breathe fast when he or she has a cold, is near animals, is in a dusty place or if there is smoke in the air, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

You should tell your child's doctor about any excessive cough, particularly a nighttime cough or a prolonged cough after a cold even if there is no wheezing. Coughing can be the only asthma symptom in some people. Share whether you have family members who have asthma, hay fever, eczema, recurrent bronchitis or sinus problems, the AAP advised.

An unexplained frequent cough or daily cough in infants means you should have your child evaluated by a pediatrician or pediatric pulmonologist because it could be a sign of a serious disease.

When trying to diagnose what's causing the problem, your pediatrician will listen carefully to make sure that the sounds your baby is making are coming from the airways of the lungs, the AAP said.

Sometimes babies breathe noisily as a result of laryngotracheomalacia, a temporary weakness in the cartilage near the vocal cords. They grow out of this as the tissues become firmer. Unusual conditions related to airway development or prematurity can also cause wheezing in infants.

Your child's pediatrician isn't likely to recommend allergy testing unless the wheezing always happens after exposure to an animal or certain food. Food allergy is rarely a cause of asthma in infants and toddlers. It may be a trigger for eczema, the AAP noted.

Your doctor may order a chest radiography during the baby's first wheezing bout. If it's determined that your child has asthma, that won't likely be repeated because the bronchial tubes are not seen well in a radiograph.

If your baby is failing to grow or thrive, the doctor may test for other conditions, the AAP said. Certain tests, including a sweat test to rule out cystic fibrosis, may be necessary when your doctor wants to be sure your baby's wheezing and chest symptoms are not caused by a condition with symptoms that are similar to asthma.

Sometimes the easiest and best way to diagnose asthma in a young child is to treat with asthma therapy and see if the child improves. Medications for asthma usually only help asthma and not other conditions, the AAP said. You can help the pediatrician by monitoring your child's symptoms carefully and providing feedback on whether the medications are helping.

More information

The Asthma & Allergy Network has more on asthma in babies and children.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, March 2021