My 15-month-old is currently going through her second bout of a cold-induced asthma. It's relatively minor as this time my wife and I are better prepared - the first time did require a trip to the emergency room, and was much more scary.

Anyway, my question is whether anyone has experience with an infant and toddler who developed a virus-induced asthma trigger first, specifically a cold or flu, and developed a second or third unrelated trigger as an older child?

Personally, I've been asthmatic (exercise-induced, mostly) for most of my life, although today is fairly well managed. I remember many trips to the hospital, especially when I was 5 to 10 yrs old, although I do not remember asthma attacks related to viruses.

Anecdotally speaking, has anyone else experienced a similar link?


2 Answers 2


My 4 year old son has had bouts of croup, bronchialitis, asthma, and pneumonia over the last couple of years, including two 7-10 night stays in hospital, and each time we were told that it wouldn't mean he would have problems later. After the most recent hospital visit for pneumonia, they suggested he be given the flu vaccine each year as a precaution.

  • The flu shot is a very good idea. Thanks for reminding me :)
    – adamrmcd
    Nov 9, 2011 at 3:24

I am not a medical professional, but to my knowledge (from having asthmatic bronchitis as a child, and looking after a few kids through doctor appointments, etc):

Asthma (i.e. the chronic condition) is not caused by any virus. Some infections can cause asthmatic symptoms that will go away when the infection is gone.

Children who already have the risk factors for asthma (such as parents with asthma or other respiratory problems), and will develop asthma, are more likely to have asthmatic symptoms from infections.

As a data point, I had asthmatic bronchitis twice as a child, but never developed asthma. No one in my family has asthma, and the only family member with a respiratory disease got it from exposure to dangerous chemicals, not anything heritable.

If you are worried about asthma, you really should talk to a doctor rather than asking an unscientific sampling of people on a web site.

  • Oh, purely unscientific of course. My pediatrician is already involved, but I was mostly interested in an informal polling of a common parental experience. Thanks for sharing :)
    – adamrmcd
    Nov 9, 2011 at 17:53
  • 1
    @adamrmcd No problem. Please note that we aren't really set up for polls or for medical questions, so now that you've gotten an answer, I'm going to go ahead and close the question. It's normally something we close on sight here, but as you are very new to this community, I wanted to give you the chance for some feedback first.
    – HedgeMage
    Nov 9, 2011 at 18:19

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