Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Pediatric Asthma Overview

Pediatric Asthma

Bronchial Asthma belongs to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) which occurs due to the inflammatory mechanism of the airway. If this physiologic change occurs to the airway, there will be an obstruction in the airflow. However, there are means on how to treat this condition. It can be partial or complete interventions that can reversely help people with asthma and pediatric asthma.

There are several causes of inflammatory mechanism to the airway. This can be caused by cellular activities influenced by bacterial, viral or irritants. In addition, spasms of the bronchioles can also lead to pediatric asthma.

The incidence rate of pediatric asthma is escalating.Yearly, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported an estimate of 15 million asthma cases and 250,000 mortality deaths were noted. Furthermore, there are approximately half a million cases of hospital admission (34.6% to individual ages 18 years old and below) yearly are suffering from pediatric asthma.


This record simply tells everyone that asthma is included in the top 10 causes of morbidity and mortality rates in the world. There are several risk factors that predispose children to suffer from asthma. 

These include:

  1. Non-Modifiable Factors
  2. Gender (Male)
  3. Race (Black)
  4. Family Background (History of Asthma to paternal or maternal side)
  5. Modifiable Factors
  6. Socio-Economic Status (Low-Income Family)
  7. Environmental Factors (Exposure to tobacco)
  8. Below average birth weight
  9. Presence of other allergies
  10. Respiratory infections
There are no definite studies that can support the case of pediatric asthma. However, these factors were highly noted to precipitate the occurrence of the condition. Additionally, mothers who feed their neonates with other milk aside from breast milk are associated with the development of pediatric asthma. For your information, breast milk contains several nutrients and immunoglobulin that can protect the neonates from other forms of diseases including asthma.

Children who are not exposed to childhood illnesses are considered to be associated with pediatric asthma, as well. This is because the child’s immune system is not fully-develop or do not have enough prevailing resistance that can help protect the child from the incoming pathogens. Children with poor immune system do not have enough antibodies that can protect their body especially the lungs from notable bacterial, viral or allergies which cause pediatric asthma.

The clinical manifestations of pediatric asthma include:

  1. Weakness (low level of energy during playtime)
  2. Complains of chest discomfort or tightness
  3. Fast breathing (Tachypnea)
  4. Difficulty of breathing (dyspnea) with frequent coughing especially during play, at evening or when the child laughs.
  5. Presence of wheezing when the child inhales or exhales.
Take note that coughing is the only symptom that can be displayed by the child with pediatric asthma. It is very difficult to diagnose pediatric asthma because children do not have enough ability to identify or describe their condition. 

The following are common signs that can help indicate pediatric asthma:

  1. Loss of Appetite
  2. Child suffers from frequent headache
  3. Tight chest and neck muscles
  4. Darkened circles below the eyes (eye bags due to sleeplessness)
  5. Feeling tired and weak
  6. See-saw motions in the child’s chest due to difficulty of breathing.
Children below 5 years old may have difficulty of describing what they actually feel. That is why parents should be keen in observing the condition of their children. The most common form of symptom for this age-bracket is the presence of respiratory infection such as cold. 

In case that the child displays respiratory problems, it is best to take him/her to the medical doctor (pediatrician with specialization in pulmonology) for further assessment .

– By Edterchelle Soriano