Daughter just diagnosed with Asthma - What now?

Hello everyone

My 2 year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with Asthma. She has been in hospital 3 times since April and 2 of those were in the last month (as well as lots of visits to out of hours centres for nebs and steriods in between). Each time she has had an Asthma attack she seems to worsen a lot quicker than before and it takes longer to stabilize her breathing again. The last visit on monday she had to have hourly nebs for 12 hours, oral steriods and oxygen and I had to call an ambulance to take her as her salbutamol reliever only worked for 10 mins or so at a time. She is home now but still on 6 puffs salbutamol 4 hourly and her brown inhaler of course, and is abou to have her last dose of prednisilone.

I am very worried as the attacks are worsening and wonder is this a common trend with other new Asthmatics?

I think my fear has been made worse as I lost my Dad in June of Acute respiratory failure although this was caused by COPD and not Asthma.

My husand and I are racking our brains to think what her triggers are and we suspect farms\animals\birds as the time before last we were at a farm and that evening she became ill and this time we were visited by relatives who had been to the same farm earlier in the day.

I am now keeping a diary so hopefully we can build a picture of what brings on the attacks. I have also been reading about house dust mites and was wondering if it is worth buying special bedding etc given that I think her triggers are animal related or will she get benefit from me doing this anyay as will she not get so bad when she does have an attack if i can make her home environment as allergy free as possible?

I would appreciate any help as neither my husband nor I know anyone with Asthma and do not have any relatives with the condition either.

Thanks for reading

7 Replies

  • Hi

    I'm a mum of three all with asthma. The first thing to do is don't panic! COPD and asthma are different diseases. The majority of asthmatics live perfectly normal lives and their asthma can be well controlled and has little impact on their day to day living. You may read scarey stories on here but thats because the boards attract a disproportionate number or asthmatics from the more severe end of the spectrum.

    I would advise you to have a look through the all about asthma section on the main board. There used to be some really good info about asthma in the under 5's or ring the asthma nurses on the number above for a chat.

    Then I would make an appointment to see your GP. You need to have a management plan so you know exactly what to do when your daughter shows certain symptoms. This can prevent hospital admissions as you get help earlier!

    When someone especially a child is diagnosed it can take a while for the symptoms to settle down and the preventer inhalers to start working. This is why its important to see your GP/asthma nurse so you know exactly what you are doing/how much ventolin to give before getting help. It takes time for the irritation in the lungs to settle down after a bad attack. The one thing my GP said to me is to take in a written list of all the worries and questions i had about my childrens lungs because noone ever got ill from asking a question!

    I think its a good idea to keep a diary as to whether animals etc appear to make her worse but i wouldn't rush out and buy lots of new bedding rip out yout carpets just yet!

    It may be possible for her to be allergy tested in the future although in my area they will not do this until a child is 3.

    If my daughter was still needing 6 puffs of ventolin regularly as wheezy and her steroids had finished I would take her back to the GP just to make sure she didn't need another course.

    Hope that helps!

  • Hi you must feel very frightened at the moment. At any time you feel you are not happy about how your daughter is coping you must get medical help. You may need to see your G.P first or any doubt 999. Paramedics are fantastic and carry nebulisers and oxygen. I know it is hard not to panic but always keep calm,reassure your Daughter that you are there and helping. Keeping her calm and making her feel safe can be as important as the medication. The more asthmatics panic the worse the symptoms get. I was an asthmatic child and follow what my Mum did with me because I felt safe. I now know how she was feeling inside, anything but the calm face she was showing me!

    I do know how you feel.I have 2 asthmatic children, 1 has mild asthma and 1 with severe and difficult asthma.My eldest with mild asthma is allergic to cats,dogs and horses which when he comes into contact with them make him really ill, he ends up on steroids too. Now he older (nearly 11) when visiting farms we give him anti histamine ( 1 that lasts all day) an hour before we go, but we were very cautious when he was younger as it's difficult for little ones to explain how they are feeling. My youngest (8) has no known allergies and is having lung biopsies next month to find out if allergies are showing up in his lungs as they don't on his skin. His is triggered by excitement, exercise and the weather and other unknown factors. Christmas and Birthdays are a nightmare as he is always so ill.

    The bedding sound like a good plan, we have them on all our beds as the boys always fall into ours every morning to say Hi, hollow fibre quilts and anti allergy pillowslips and bed covers. I use pledge dusters that pick up all the dust and throw away and have a morphy richards hoover (it's stronger than the dyson I used to have) I haven't got rid of the carpets as the boys will come into contact with these at school and feel if you take away too much when they come into contact with these elsewhere it may cause a worse reaction (my theory only, it's probably rubbish!)

    Good luck and you are not alone. I wish I had access to this website years ago, it's really helped me and kept me sane


    My boys were both diagnosed at 6 months old and breastfed so bang goes that theory!

    I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, that can't help how you feel with your Daughter.

    Take care

  • Thanks for the help so far, it is nice to know there are other people who feel the same as me.

    I should have said that we have seen the Asthma nurse at our surgery each time she has been in hospital for a review a few days afterwards but she left the surgery last week and there is no one to look after Asthmatic patients until they find another one except for GPs. When my daughter was having breathing difficulties on Mon morn I called the surgery for help knowing that they have a nebuliser there and was given an appointment an hour and a half later but within half an hour and many more doses of ventolin (6 puffs every 10 mins) I called again to be told that no-one could see her before her alloted appointment time so I called an ambulance.

    I feel very let down by my surgery as I live in rural area and the nearest hospital is twelve miles away and I don't drive. I have since been reassured by some lovely community nurses that visited us at home yesterday that my course of action was justified so I would call an ambulance if this happens again as they have everything on board to assist her en route to hospital and anyone driving cannot help her. I would just like to know if an early neb may have stopped the attack from worsening or would she have still have ended up in hospital anyway (probably hard to say now!)

    She is still having 4 puffs ventolin every 4 hours as is still chesty and pulling in slightly around the neck (not sure of medical term for this) and is still coughing a fair bit but she had her last lot of prednisolone this morning. It has now been 5 days since her attack and she has been back to normal by now so I am a little concerned that she may worsen again.

    I do try and stay very calm with her when she is having one, I am a childminder and have done a paediatric first aid course so I am quite good at keeping a smile on even though I am absolutely bricking it inside ;-)

    Just to make you all laugh a little, she has just walked up to me saying ""I can't breathe mummy!"" with both index fingers stuck up her nose. Kids eh!!!

  • Hi Marmite is right in saying about children leading normal lives. Most parents on this site have children who's asthma is difficult to control which is not the norm, so don't be too frightened. In most cases once triggers are found it's easy to maintain like my eldest sons.

    Matty who has severe and difficult asthma is a fantastic runner and swimmer and won a silver medal competing against 46 schools this year. He is just so good at sport, I deserve an oscar as I'm cheering him on as in side as I know exercise brings on his asthma and he can be really ill after tearing up the track even after inhalers but he said asthma makes me fast as I breath differently and have more stamina!I won't let him stop he may be an olympian one day.

    You did make the right decision about the ambulance, the last time Matty went in I kept apologizing for the trouble and the paramedic said something that reassured me ""your son is ill, he needs me unlike the drunks we bring in every weekend who's injuries are self inflicted, don't forget that""I was also told never to drive him in as if you have an accident it will be more than one ambulance needed!

    Take care


  • She's your child you know her best and if she's still not right go back to GP.

    When mine have had a bad attack and have been in or on pred I actually have a lower threshold for calling an ambulance/going to hospital for the next couple of weeks. Everyones child is different which is why they all have individual management plans but for my youngest daughter if she is pulling in at the neck and the ventolin is not lasting 4 hour that is a sign we need to go to hospital to be assessed we don't wait for the point where she is desparate breathe all I have to say is the ventolin isn't lasting 4 hours even if shes not wheezy at that particular moment and they take us seriously.

    The rule is when you look at her after giving her inhaler the number of times you have been advised in a severe attck, if you even hesistate for a second and think i'm not sure if we need help or not then you get it whatever time of day or night. If in doubt always ring GP or phone ambulance. The worst that can happen that way is you spend 4 hours bored out of your brain sitting in an A+E dept.

    I have heard tales from ambulance crews of people calling them out because they'd run out of calpol or were just too drunk to walk home. They won't mind being called to an ill asthmatic child even if she's stabalised by the time they get there.

  • Hi, thanks again for the advice and you are right about the ambulances. I won't feel bad about calling them again as there are enough programmes on tv that show the people that call them and don't actually need them.

    My Daughter is much better today, she was on 4 puffs ventolin 4 hourly yesterday and have dropped this down to 2 puffs 4 hourly today as no more pulling in at the neck and no shortness of breath or wheeze. In fact she wants to go swimming with Daddy this morning and I am going to let her since she is almost back to normal and loves swimming.

    I could probably stop the ventolin altogether but will reduce it a bit more today and see how she is tomorrow.

    Just keeping everything crossed now that the increased dose of her brown inhaler keeps us going for more than 2 weeks this time ;-)

    Thanks for the help and I will no doubt be on here asking more as we go along.



  • Hi glad your daughter is feeling better today.Swimming is fantastic for asthma. My youngest Matty swims every week at a swim school (usually 12 lengths!). When he was off school for three months last year We still sent him swimming every week under the Doctors advice, only exception was back in July when he got so ill his lungs hurt so much the Doctor advised us not to send him as he had bruised chest muscles and swimming would make it worse. I think it's probably because he had pneumonia in January and it's taken his lungs a long while to recover.

    I know what you mean about the t.v programmes!I felt I may have overstepped the mark with what I wrote, but I've been in A+E on a Friday night and watched one of the ambulance men get punched in the face!it wasn't very nice for a sick child to watch either!

    Take care and glad your daughters getting better

    Rattles x

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