Asthma in children

Diagnosing asthma in children

Diagnosing children with asthma can be difficult.

There isn’t a single test to see if your child has asthma and the causes vary from child to child.

Your health care professional will:

  • ask about your child’s symptoms, their medical history and whether they or anyone else in the family has allergies or eczema.
  • listen to your child’s chest to see if they can hear wheezing
  • measure how fast your child can breathe using a peak flow meter – if they are over 5 years old

Your child may be given a trial of treatment. This means having very small doses of asthma medication to see if it improves their symptoms. If their breathing is better after treatment then it’s likely they have asthma.

If you have concerns or need advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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Last medically reviewed: September 2016. Due for review: September 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.