How Does Asthma Affect Children Physically?

Updated April 17, 2017

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes soreness and swelling of the airways which constricts breathing. This disease affects approximately 9 million children in the United States. While children with moderate asthma can lead normal lives, you should be aware of how asthma affects your child physically.

Physical Symptoms

Your child will display several physical signs when having an asthma attack including wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue and chest tightness.

Airway Remodeling

According to the Mayo Clinic, asthma can cause the bronchial tubes to narrow, also referred to as airway remodelling. While asthma medications help decrease swelling of airways, they cannot permanently widen bronchial tubes.

Slow Growth

Inhaled corticosteroids used to treat asthma can slow a child's physical growth and development.


Albuterol, one of the most common drug treatments for asthma, can cause your child to exhibit signs of restlessness, irritability and nervousness.

Exercise and Sports

While exercise and sports can trigger asthma episodes, most children can engage in physical activities with proper medications.


Children with asthma should keep their inhalers with them at all times. Alert friends, teachers, coaches and others about your child's asthma.

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About the Author

Apryl Beverly is a skilled writer with more than 10 years of experience. She crafts concise and targeted content for print and electronic communications. Apryl earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University. She has had a diverse range of articles published on Inc., Inc. and