Early Signs of Asthma in Babiesby Maggie McCormick
Untreated asthma can damage your baby's lungs, but it is particularly difficult to test a baby for asthma because he cannot perform the lung function test. This means that if your doctor suspects that the baby has asthma, she may treat the symptoms without giving an asthma diagnosis--waiting until your child is older to give a formal diagnosis. If you recognize some signs of asthma in your baby, talk to your doctor.
If anyone in your family has asthma, there's a stronger chance that your baby has the disease as well, as there is some link to genetics. This won't be used on its own as a diagnosis, but when combined with other signs, it could lead your doctor to determine that your baby has asthma.
A wheezing baby may just have a cold, but consistent wheezing could be a sign of a larger problem. In particular, if your baby wheezes more at night or after some active play, asthma could be the cause.
A runny nose that lasts about a week is probably a sign of a cold, but a runny nose that lasts much longer shows that the air passages are producing too much mucus, which could indicate asthma.
If your baby coughs often--and it happens more often in cold weather or at night time--this could be a sign of asthma. Again, it needs to be more ongoing than a cough that might occur with a cold. Babies with asthma are more prone to other types of respiratory illnesses.
Trouble Breathing in Certain Situations
Certain situations are more likely to bring on an asthma attack--allergens, such as pet dander or pollen, cold air and proximity to cigarette or cigar smoke. If your child wheezes or has difficulty breathing only in situations like these, then talk to your doctor about asthma.
- baby image by Dron from Fotolia.com