7 Common Myths and Misconceptions about Asthma in Kids

Here are seven common myths and misunderstandings about asthma in kids that you should know and understand.

Mythbuster 1: Asthma Cannot be Diagnosed in Children 

False: Although asthma can be difficult to diagnose, with supportive history from parents , clinical assessment and right tests, including breathing tests (Lung Functions) in most children asthma can be differentiated from other conditions.  

Mythbuster 2: Inhalers are Not for Children

False: We have good evidence from research that if inhalers are used appropriately with guidance from specialized teams, they will work to control asthma. Inhaled medicine is delivered directly into the lungs, so there are minimal side effects to other body systems. 

Mythbuster 3: Nebulizers are Better than Inhalers

True but False: Asthma can be well controlled on use of the preventive treatment including inhalers. Nebulizers have a role when child is acutely unwell and needs oxygen along with other treatments and best given in the hospital. Overuse of nebulized medicines at home can give false reassurance to parents and carers about child’s condition.

Mythbuster 4: Children with Asthma Should Avoid Exercise  

False: Exercise is an important element of children’s well-being. Children with asthma must have good control of their symptoms. Once this is achieved, they can participate in most physical activities to live a good quality of life. 

Mythbuster 5: Asthma Treatment is Only Needed When Children are Unwell  

False: There are two elements of asthma management in children, reliever and preventive treatment.  Preventive treatment is done when children don’t have asthma symptoms daily but to prevent future and recurrent asthma attacks. Most children need some preventive treatment to maintain good control of asthma.

Mythbuster 6: Asthma is a Psychological Problem   

False: Asthma is due to inflammation and tightening of the airway due to triggers that vary in every child. This can be due to animals, dust, pollen, or other contact or environmental triggers. 

Mythbuster 7: Inhalers and Other Asthma Treatments are Addictive 

False: Inhalers are not addictive. As asthma is a long-term condition, many children need ongoing treatment, but this does not mean these are addictive.

Asthma is a common condition that can be very scary for parents. You want to do everything you can to help your child, and it can be difficult to know what’s true and what’s not when it comes to asthma in children. We’ve compiled this list of seven common childhood myths and misconceptions about asthma. We hope this article has helped clear up some common myths and misconceptions about asthma in children and that you can now feel more confident about approaching the condition.

Please remember that this is not medical advice; if you think your child might have asthma or is having asthma, we recommend talking to our expert pediatric pulmonologist, who can help assess their condition.

Our Pediatric Pulmonologist at Burjeel Medical City, Abu Dhabi provides comprehensive care for kids with breathing problems and respiratory conditions, including asthma, chronic lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and sleep apnea. Our expert will work with you to create a treatment plan to help your child breathe more easily. 

Our Pediatric Pulmonology Expert

Dr. Ghulam Mujtaba

Consultant Pediatric Pulmonology

Years of Experience: 20

Nationality: Ireland

Languages Known: English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi