Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups
What happens during a flare-up?
Children with asthma have severe episodes or flare-ups when the air passages in their
lungs become narrower. This makes it harder to breathe. Sensitive airways react to
certain things called triggers. Triggers can cause:
The lining of the airways (bronchial tubes) to become more inflamed and swollen
Tightening of the muscles that surround the airways
More mucus production
Less air movement through the lungs
Your child may have the following symptoms of a flare-up:
It may become harder to breathe. Your child may start breathing faster than normal.
They may use muscles that they normally don't use to breathe. This will make it look
like the area under or between the ribs is sucking in or the belly is sticking out.
Wheezing or whistling when breathing out. Wheezing may not happen with very severe
Symptoms that wake your child or keep them from sleeping
Trouble walking or talking
Make sure you know what to do if your child's symptoms get worse. Always have his
or her asthma medicines and asthma action plan available to use in case of a flare-up. If your
child does not get treatment right away during a flare-up, they could stop breathing,
or even die.