Wheeze is extremely common in infancy and early childhood. A thorough history and physical examination will usually determine the cause of the wheeze, but in some cases further investigations may be needed.
- Wheeze in infancy is not usually due to asthma.
- A thorough history and physical examination will generally determine the cause of the wheeze.
- Pulmonary function testing (FEV1 and PEF) can be performed reliably in most children over 5 to 6 years of age and is useful if there is uncertainty regarding diagnosis or disease severity.
- In toddlers and preschool children always consider the possibility that an inhaled foreign body is the cause of wheezing.
- While not a routine investigation, a chest x-ray can be useful in all age groups to exclude most rare and serious causes of wheeze.