Respiratory Diseases: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kathleen Hogan
Did you know that we use our respiratory system every minute of the day? So, when something goes wrong, it can cause problems for our body. This lesson will describe a few common respiratory diseases that you should know about.

What are Respiratory Diseases?

Your respiratory system is the system in your body that allows you to breathe. The main organs of the respiratory system are your lungs.

When your lungs are not working like they should be, it may be difficult for you to breathe. If this happens, your mom or dad will most likely take you to the doctor to find out what is wrong. The doctor may tell you that you have a respiratory disease, which is an illness in your respiratory system that can usually be controlled or cured. Let's take a look at some common respiratory diseases now.

The Respiratory System


An infection in your lungs is also known as pneumonia. Pneumonia is caused by germs called bacteria that you can get anywhere you go. It usually occurs after you have the flu or a cold because your immune system cannot fight off the bacteria as well. Symptoms appear quickly and can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, an upset stomach, chills, or weakness. Pneumonia is treated by a doctor who may prescribe antibiotics.


When a person's bronchial tubes are swollen and they have a bad cough, they probably have bronchitis. Your bronchial tubes are the tubes that carry oxygen to and from your lungs. Symptoms of bronchitis include coughing, yellowish-colored mucus, fever, tiredness, shortness of breath, or a tight chest feeling.

There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is the most common, comes quickly and leaves after treatment. It is usually caused by a virus. Treatments vary for acute bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis builds over time and stays with a person throughout their life. It is usually caused by smoking, but not always. Treatment for chronic bronchitis is ongoing and prescribed by a doctor.


Asthma is a very common disease, and it affects approximately 26 million people in the United States. Asthma occurs when the airways to your lungs are swollen. Symptoms of asthma include coughing, wheezing, chest tightening, and shortness of breath.

Most people who have asthma experience these symptoms while they are exercising, during allergy season, or even when laughing or crying. Once asthma has been diagnosed, or found to be the problem, it is easily treatable with special medicines and breathing treatments.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account