Clear­ing THE AIR

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Real Advice -

Q My 14-month-old gets wheezy when­ever he has a cold, but my GP says it’s too early to call it asthma. Why?

A Pae­di­a­tri­cian Dr Mike Starr says: Ba­bies in the first 12 to 18 months of life of­ten get wheezy when they have a cold, but this doesn’t mean they have asthma. These ba­bies may have bron­chi­oli­tis, a vi­ral ill­ness af­fect­ing the small tubes (bron­chi­oles) in the lungs. It be­gins as a cold, but then a cough and wheeze de­velop. It’s tricky, be­cause asthma in young chil­dren is usu­ally trig­gered by a cold, so it of­ten presents in the same way as bron­chi­oli­tis. One dif­fer­ence can be that Ven­tolin works for chil­dren with asthma, but doesn’t usu­ally work for those with bron­chi­oli­tis. But even that doesn’t al­ways help us de­ter­mine whether a child has one or the other, since chil­dren un­der about 12 months of age don’t usu­ally re­spond to Ven­tolin, even if they have asthma!

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