What is asthma?

Asthma is a disease that usually starts during childhood. One in 10 children living in NYC have asthma. When a child has asthma, his or her lungs are sensitive and can become irritated very easily, which can make it hard to breathe.  This happens when there is a trigger present.  Different kids have different asthma triggers, which may be:

  • Tobacco smoke or other materials in the air
  • Change in the weather or cold air
  • Common cold
  • Exercise or physical activity
  • Allergies like dust, pollen, mold and pet dander


What does asthma look like?

If you think your child has asthma, make sure to call your pediatrician or family doctor. Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Being short of breath (with or without physical activity)
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling tight in the chest

How is asthma treated?

Your child’s doctor can prescribe medicine to help with asthma. You can also help your child by knowing their triggers and avoiding them. Your doctor will give you instructions on how to do this.

Talk to your family doctor about your child’s asthma.  To schedule an appointment with a family doctor, call Union Health Center at 212-924-2510.