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Introduction and advice appreciated


I am the mother of a four year old son who has just been diagnosed with what is possibly asthma (the NHS is reluctant to give an absolute diagnosis at this age). His asthma doesn't seem to be severe and appears to be triggered by a cold - we are also fortunate in that he doesn't seem to suffer from frequent attacks. We have had two severish attacks resulting in hospital visits - the last one via an ambulance. This was, however, mainly due to our own inexperience at controlling it - we weren't confident that we were on top of the attack and we were worried it was deterioriating and, therefore, wanted experts on hand just in case.

We have had a few occasions where he is has had coughing fits in the night - these coud be asthma or sometimes could be a cough, we aren't experienced enough to know yet. Other than that he is a perfectly happy and active 4 year old.

The 2 severish attacks were around 2 years apart and the coughing in the night has very much decreased in frequency especially in the last 12 months. He also doesn't appear to be affected by dust or pets.

Would appreciate it, if anyone has similar experiences, that they could share with us. In particular, what can be done to minisise future attacks - is it a good idea to give him ibuprofen before he goes to bed whenever he has a cold, however mild it might be. Should we give him his inhaler whenever he has a coughing fit and anything else you feel may be useful.

2 Replies


I feel for you - my daughter is almost four and also really struggles at night. She was diagnosed with asthma at six weeks old ( I was a bit sceptical but I'm asthmatic too and it turns out they were right!) She's on 2 preventatives twice a day and ventolin throughout the day but I've learnt that it can be quite unpredictable. With the best will in the world I still find it very hard to control her asthma, especially at night. It's striking the balance between letting her live a normal life and removing the triggers. She struggled in winter and I had to make her school limit her outdoor play - which in principle I don't really agree with.

Emily is also worse when she has a cold but I don't find Calpol makes any difference to her cough at all.

Feel free to pm me if you would like to keep in touch




Hi Diane

You asked ""is it a good idea to give him ibuprofen before he goes to bed whenever he has a cold?"" I'd check the bottle/leaflet but I don't think ibruprofen is recommended for use with asthmatics. It can exacerbate some peoples asthma symptoms.

If you're feeling a little uncertain about controling your sons asthma I'd highly recommend a chat with any of the asthma nurses at the helpline. They are all very nice and so, so helpful. They should be able to give you all the information you need and you'll wonder how you ever coped without them!


Jacqui Mac


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