Asthma is a common long-term condition that can be well controlled in most children. The severity of asthma symptoms varies between children, from very mild to more severe. Parents learn how to be prepared and how to recognise symptoms and deal with them.
Asthma affects the airways and makes it difficult to breathe and causes wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and can make the chest feel tight.
A sudden, severe onset of symptoms is known as an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can sometimes be managed at home but may require hospital treatment. They are occasionally life threatening.
Triggers can include exercise (especially in cold weather), an allergy with dust mites, animal fur, grass and tree pollen or exposure to air pollution, especially tobacco smoke or a cold virus. Asthma often runs in families.
Call 999 to seek immediate medical assistance if your child has severe symptoms of asthma.