Exercise-Induced Shortness of Breath (Pediatric) Make an Appointment Find a Doctor Ask a Question Reviewed by J. Tod Olin, MD, MSCS (March 01, 2012) In children, exertional dyspnea is an inability to comfortably breathe during exercise when compared with: Other children of the same age and size or A child’s previous experience. Asthma, which affects over 10% of Denver’s children, is the most common cause of exertional dyspnea in children. There are many other causes of exertional dyspnea in children. If children do not completely respond to asthma therapy as a treatment for exertional dyspnea, we recommend a thorough evaluation by a pediatric breathing and exercise specialist. More information on shortness of breath (dyspnea) Programs & Services Exercise & Performance Breathing Center Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.