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Asthma is when someone has trouble breathing because of difficulties with their airways. These are the tubes which carry air to their lungs and they can become narrow or swollen which makes it difficult to breathe.

What is it like for siblings if their brother or sister has asthma?

Lots of siblings who have brothers or sisters with asthma find it easy to play and have fun with them. They don’t really notice any difference in how they are. However, some siblings may find it frightening if their brother or sister has an asthma attack, even if they know what is happening. If the asthma is severe, it may also affect the things which they can do as a family, such as going on long walks or cycling. Siblings can find it hard if they are not able to have a furry pet.

What causes asthma?

No-one really knows what causes asthma but doctors think that people are more likely to develop asthma if someone else in their family has asthma, eczema or different allergies.

What does it mean?

People who have asthma may find it difficult to breathe when they do exercise or are near smoke. Asthma may also be worse in summer because of pollen from flowers. Some children are not able to have furry pets or be near furry animals.

What treatment is there?

Some children grow out of asthma when they get older. Other people will have it all their lives and have to control it with inhalers and other medicine. Children who have asthma:

  • will see a doctor regularly
  • may use a brown inhaler every day to help them breathe better
  • may have a blue inhaler for when they have a cold or when their breathing gets difficult