Asthma in Children | Symptoms and Causes

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Contact the Asthma Program

  • 617-355-6117

What are the symptoms of asthma in children?

Symptoms of asthma are caused by inflammation and muscle spasms of the airways, which causes narrowing of small air passages in the lungs. Symptoms may include:

  • wheezing
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • chest tightness

Asthma ranges from mild with occasional symptoms to severe with persistent symptoms that make daily life difficult, known as severe asthma. Even children with mild disease may have severe asthma episodes (exacerbations).

What causes asthma in children?

The risk factors for developing asthma include:

  • having a parent who has, or had, asthma
  • atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • hay fever or other environmental allergies
  • wheezing, apart from colds
  • food allergies (such as to eggs, peanuts or milk)
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Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
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