About Asthma

Asthma is:  

  • a chronic inflammatory disease in the airways (breathing tubes) of the lungs 
  • one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in Canada affecting more than 850,000 children under the age of 141 
  • a leading cause for both school absenteeism and hospitalization in Canada

When asthma is controlled, children and youth can lead a healthy, active life. 

When asthma is uncontrolled, it interrupts daily life, such as playing, socializing, sleeping, and physical activity. Uncontrolled asthma can: 

  • interrupt sleep, which affects energy levels and ability to concentrate at school2 
  • interrupt or stop physical activity due to an inability to breathe 

For more information about asthma, refer to the Understanding Asthma video. 

Note: The content on this website is not intended to take the place of directions from a child’s/youth’s health care provider.


1Asthma Canada. (2021). Annual Report 2021.

2Basch, C. E. (2011). Healthier students are better learners: A missing link in school reforms to close the achievement gap. Journal of School Health, 81(10), 593–598