How to Notice an Asthma Attack in Children

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An asthma attack in a child will see an increase in their respiratory rate, wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, a retracting chest wall and anxiety. Learn about the importance of calming a child who is having an asthma attack with help from a nurse and respiratory care practitioner in this free video on asthma symptoms.

Part of the Video Series: Asthma Symptoms & Treatments
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Video Transcript

How to notice an asthma attack in children. First of all you will see an increase in respiratory rate, you will either hear wheezing on expiration or you will see that they are very difficulty having getting air in. Coughing, they can be productive or not productive, they might not be coughing up anything. But they will be coughing in a spasmatic way. They'll have shortness of breath. Their chest wall could be retracting where it goes inward when they're trying to suck in air. They're going to be very anxious, they're going to clutching as if they are a drowning victim. They're very scared. The child will probably be crying and trying to get air in and trying to scream, going to very fearful. It's very difficult to try to calm a child down that is in a asthma attack. Unless this child has learned from the past of what he or she needs to do. So talking very calmly, if they have an inhaler, if there's an adult with them, that is a thing that you want to ask if they have a reliever type, nebulizer, not nebulizer excuse me but an inhaler. That you can get something down that child's lungs. So that they can get more air in and will be less anxious. But always call 911 for this child. Asthma in children is very dangerous and should not be taken lightly.

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