My baby is wheezing. The doctor wants her to get breathing treatments through a nebulizer. I'm worried! Could she have asthma?– Audrey Probably not. Many babies and young children wheeze due to colds or viruses and don't develop asthma when they're older. Young kids are more at risk for wheezing because their airways are very small. When they get a cold or other respiratory tract infection, these already small passages swell and fill with mucus much more easily than an older child's or an adult's. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and other symptoms that people with asthma get. Another thing to consider is how often your baby wheezes. One instance of wheezing isn't enough to diagnose asthma. It must happen more than once. But even when wheezing happens a bunch of times, it still might not be asthma, especially in young children. Most kids who wheeze as infants outgrow it and don't have asthma when they get older. So doctors usually can't make an asthma diagnosis until children are older, by about age 4 or 5. In the meantime, doctors will treat any asthma-like symptoms. They may prescribe asthma medicines, but probably won't officially diagnose a child with asthma unless symptoms continue. Share your concerns with your child's doctor, and ask about possible asthma if your daughter has: wheezing that has happened more than once (with or without illness) long-lasting coughing or coughing that get worse at night or after active playing any other breathing problem that concerns you The doctor may ask if your child has breathing problems in different circumstances, such as during a cold or when exposed to: cold air allergens, such as pets or dust smoke It's important to tell the doctor about any family history of allergies, asthma, eczema, and sinus problems. This information and careful monitoring of your child over time will help the doctor decide if the symptoms are due to asthma or another problem. Back to Articles Related Articles Asthma Center Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma. Read More Asthma Center Asthma means breathing problems. Find out what's going on in the lungs and how to stay healthy, if you have it. Read More How Can I Help My Child Cooperate While Using the Nebulizer? Nebulizers are often used with young children because they require little effort on the child's part. But kids do need to stay in one place and cooperate. If you're having trouble giving treatments, this article is for you! Read More Handling an Asthma Flare-Up How can you prepare for an asthma flare-up? Find out in this article for kids. Read More How Do Asthma Medicines Work? Kids who have asthma need to take medicine. But what kind of medicine do they take and what does it do? Let's find out. Read More Asthma Flare-Ups Find out how to deal with — and help prevent — asthma flare-ups ("attacks"), which is when asthma symptoms get worse. Read More Asthma Center Asthma keeps more kids home from school than any other chronic illness. Learn how to help your child manage the condition, stay healthy, and stay in school. Read More Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More Asthma Asthma makes it hard to breathe. But with treatment, the condition can be managed so that kids can still do the things they love. Learn all about asthma. Read More Asthma Asthma is a lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Learn all about asthma here. Read More Managing Asthma Asthma control can take a little time and energy to master, but it's worth the effort. Learn more about ways to manage your child's asthma. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.