The first one or two episodes of coughing are quite likely to be called bronchitis, or bronchiolitis, by the family doctor. This unfortunately delays the correct diagnosis of the problem. Often, the doctors are unwilling to use the term asthma in the case of a young child. The word asthma implies that the child may have a chronic disease that may last for several years or even a lifetime. Thus, asthma in children remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Asthma may develop during the first few months of life, but it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis until the child is about four years or older, or is prone to repeated attacks of cough which are investigated. Mid-childhood Asthma. If asthma develops when children are four to ten years old, i.e. in their mid-childhood, it is usually the allergic form of asthma. It is generally easy to treat, and has the best prognosis or outlook. Such children often lack a family history of asthma and have normal breathing and show normal breathing test results between attacks. Some may go on to develop hay fever or sneezing fits, in their teenage years.