According to the Centers for Disease Control the prevalence of asthma in children under the age of 5 has significantly grown. In fact, the rates have jumped 160% within a 15-year time period. This chronic lung condition has become commonplace in Head Starts and early childhood centers.
"Because diagnostic tests like spirometry is generally not used in children younger than 6, a diagnosis of asthma in preschoolers is usually based on clinical judgment," said Deborah A. Santo, MD. Dr. Santo is a pediatrician who has been practicing for more than 25 years. "In assessing these children, we have to eliminate other conditions that may present similar symptoms, like bronchitis, pneumonia, gastroesophageal reflux, and colds caused by viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)."
But once a diagnosis has been made, it's important for parents to work closely with the preschool nurse or other medical personnel to help monitor the child, pinpoint the asthma triggers, and control the condition.