.Why is it so vital to discuss triggers for asthma? Asthma is just like an emotionally sensitive person. You give it a stimulus and it will flare up. Looking at how rampant asthma has become in childhood, it’s crucial for parents to know what triggers asthma. Here in this blog we will talk through, 10 most common triggers for asthma in a child. 


What is asthma ?


To put simply, asthma is a disease of small airways. Some people have airways that are hyper reactive. When exposed to certain aero allergens ( allergy causing agents in air ), these airways get narrowed. This narrowing or spasm of airway sets off breathing difficulty ( asthma with acute exacerbation episode ).


The same child when gets exposed to this aero allergen repeatedly, develops inflammation ( swelling and congestion ) in airways. These structural changes constricts airway lumen further, limiting airflow ( persistent asthma ). 



As kids already have smaller airways as compared to adult, they are more predisposed to asthma or any other airway disease

What are symptoms of asthma ?

How to know if you have asthma or your child has asthma with acute exacerbation ?

A person with bronchial asthma encounters following symptoms.


  • Coughing and wheezing 
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Hurried breathing or fast breathing 
  • Chest tightness 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Asthma often presents as wheezy cough during night or in early morning. Also seasonal variations can be there in bronchial asthma symptoms.

Severe asthma manifests as below

  • Drowsiness 
  • Decreased activity
  • Severe breathing difficulty and distress 
  • Low oxygen level 
  • Bluish discoloured lips and inside mouth

Above mentioned symptoms are not specific to asthma and can occur in many respiratory disease ( diseases of breathing apparatus). Thus if these symptoms are present then bring the child to a physician who can diagnose asthma and knows how to treat acute asthma. 

What triggers asthma ?

What are some most common triggers for asthma exacerbations in a Child ?

Asthma is a household disease these days. Hence parents need to be aware of factor that triggers Asthma. Below I have stated few important triggers for asthma. 


Have you heard someone saying “I have dust allergy?” In actual fact this is because of allergy to dust mites. Dust mites are small insects present on dusts which are not visible to naked eye. These mites’ poop / excreta enact as allergens and triggers acute asthma attack.

Dust in general is more common in ill ventilated houses. Also it settles down in our wardrobe and clothes. Woollen items and rugs attract more dusts. How to prevent asthma with acute exacerbation, is discussed in a separate article where I have revealed ways to prevent dust and methods to kill dust mites too.

2.Cold Virus

Infection of respiratory system for instance common cold and cough etc make airway vulnerable. These infections act like triggers for asthma. Thereby, a known case of asthmatic kid should be evaluated and treated promptly in case of cough and cold by a health expert. 

3.Change in Weather

It’s not a rocket science to find out that symptoms of Asthma are more common in cold weathers. In winters admissions of kids to hospitals having asthma with acute exacerbation is more.

Basically the triggers for asthma here are cold atmosphere and dry air. While breathing in, this air traverse through sensitive airways and triggers asthma.

4.Early morning

Most exacerbation of asthma comes about early in morning around 3 am to 4 am. The reason why asthma occurs at night or early morning is, it is the coldest time of the day. So a child might be apparently normal through out day and sleeps gently. Then s/he unexpectedly wakes up at night or early in morning with coughing and wheezing. 

Parents of an asthmatic child should make a note of how many night time awakening child faces per month. This reflects severity of asthma. More the numbers of night awakening per month, more severe asthma a child has.

Finding out severity of asthma helps a clinician decide how to treat acute asthma in a particular child. 


Seasonal variations of asthma can be correlated well with certain pollens in air. Pollen can come from tree or weed or even grass. Certain pollens are released to air in summer, some in spring and some in fall seasons

Few kids’ airway sense selected pollens as foreign and react. Hence in these children a particular season triggers asthma exacerbation.


The uphill graph of pollution coincides with uprising incidence of asthma. Notably kids of urban areas suffer more. The prime reason behind asthma here is outdoor air pollution, because of exhausts from vehicles and industries. 

Most notorious out of all pollutant is nitrogen dioxide ( NO2 ) which is released out of burning. Its level is considerably high in urban areas. Other culprits are SO2 (Sulphur dioxide), PM (Particulate mater), Ozone etc.

Though in some rural areas still
chullah is used inside home. Chullah smoke brings indoor air pollution and
triggers asthma too. However its incidence is very low. 


 Hence childhood asthma is more frequent in urban than rural population owing to air pollution. 

7.Cigarette smoke

Cigarette smoke is a cofactor for development of asthmatic tendency in a child. If a kid is exposed in early childhood to cigarette smoke then chances of developing asthma in later years spikes up. Indirect smoking in early years of life, is one of the most important hidden causes of bronchial asthma.

Not only that, but also tobacco smoke exposure triggers asthma attack. 

8.Animal hairs and Bird droppings

Animal hairs or products or bird droppings ( e.g. pigeon droppings ) can incite allergic asthma symptoms in some.

9.Strong Smell

Strong odour can act as irritant. Sharp smelling perfume, herbicides and pesticides can provoke asthma episodes.

10. Excercise

Exercise or Exertion like running and playing out door triggers asthma in few kids. One of the most frequently asked questions of parents about asthma is, should they restrict physical activity of child ? 

Answer to this is, an asthmatic child should not be restricted for physical activities if asthma is under control. Continue with the medication as directed by physician and encourage child for outdoor activities and sports.

Foot Note

Food acting as triggers in asthma is very rare. Usually aero allergens ( air born allergens ) are the culprits for asthma with acute exacerbation. 



All the informations provided here are for educational and awareness purpose only. Kindly do not use these as alternative to medical consultation.

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