While asthma in infants is not as common as it is in older children, the number of infants affilicted with this nasty problem is rising. According to the Communicable Disease Center, the number of asthma cases in infants rose 138 per cent between 1980 and 1998. While in 1980s the typical asthma onset age was 3-5 years, in 1998 it was only one year. Everything points to the sad fact that asthma in infants is more and more commong and there is no sign that this trend will be reversed.
Diagnosing asthma in infants is, not surprisingly, quite difficult. Most normal asthma tests are not available for infants and of course asking them about their state is not an option.
The only remaining method for parents is paying close attention to the infant’s breathing pattern, looking for coughing, wheezing or troubles with breathing, especially at nights.
However, even though more and more parents pay attention to their children breathing, most asthma cases in infants are still noticed by accident.
The most common diagnostic method is when parents bring their infant to the pediatrician with what they think is bronchitis only to find out that it is a case of asthma.
In an infant’s life it does not have to change much – fortunately. Most parents whose infants suffer from asthma report that the condition is not really a child’s problem, but a parental one. It is Mom and Dad who have to deliver medicines, keep the schedule and visit the doctor. Asthma has no effects whatsoever on children’s growth, development or socialization, so oftentimes a child might even not know that it is sick until it reaches the age of four or five. So with proper care, asthma in infants can be reduced to an annoyance, rather than a major crisis.