5 Ways Asthma Affects Children

by Allison Tsai Editor

Children with asthma have to deal with more than just the symptoms of their condition. Asthma and the medications used to treat it have a physical and social impact on the health of kids.

Asthma medication makes kids shorter

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that use of the asthma drug budesonide (Pulmicort) permanently stunts the growth of children. Participants took the drug or placebo for four to six years, and a height deficit was found one to two years after the children had started taking budesonide. By the age of 25, those same children were about a half inch shorter than the other study participants.

Kids with asthma are bullied more

Children with asthma, and other chronic conditions, tend to be bullied more by their peers. To find out why, a research team in the U.K. interviewed 943 children aged 7 and up. They found that kids with asthma do not participate in sports as much, and display feelings of sadness. Researchers suggest that better asthma control and pushing your child to participate in sports would help allay the bullying.

Asthma keeps kids from sleep and school

According to a new study, children with asthma, especially Latino children, have more sleep problems, miss more school, visit the emergency room more often and experience limitations in sports. Researchers also found that poverty and living in urban environments had a negative effect on asthma control. Asthma is responsible for 10.5 million missed school days in the United States every year.

Overweight kids more likely to have asthma

If your child is overweight, he or she is twice as likely to develop asthma as a child of a healthy weight, according to a study that came out last year. Rather than be discouraged from participating in sports and exercise activities, researchers say children with asthma should eat a Mediterranean diet and engage in physical activity to enhance respiratory capacity.

Obese children with asthma need more medication

Obese kids with asthma have to take more medication and still find it harder to control their asthma compared to kids who are of a healthy weight, according to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers said that the extra weight on the lungs makes kids feel like they need more medication and obese children do not respond as well to steroids.

Allison Tsai
Meet Our Writer
Allison Tsai

Allison wrote for HealthCentral as an editor and producer for Allergy, Asthma, Cold & Flu, COPD, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Skin Care, Skin Cancer, and Sleep Disorders.