What is asthma?

Asthma is an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs causing the airways to narrow, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma can be distressing for you and your child. It may cause breathlessness, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness.


What causes asthma?

It’s not clear exactly what causes asthma, although it is likely to be a combination of factors. Some of these may be genetic. However, a number of environmental factors are thought to play a role in the development of asthma, including air pollution. There is currently not enough evidence to be certain whether any of these can cause asthma, although a variety of environmental irritants, such as dust, cold air and smoke, may make it worse.

 Asthma UK has more information to help you understand asthma.

 Use Asthma UK’s tips for talking to your child about asthma.

We have also included an asthma/wheeze children’s leaflet developed by Barts Health NHS Trust so that your child can start getting involved in their management. We thank the team at Barts Health Foundation Trust for developing this resource.

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