Uncontrolled Coughing

My Son's primary asthma attack symptom is uncontrolled coughing, which progresses until he is so short of breath that the cough is bearly functional - very scary, often taking 30-45 minutes to get back under control (normally a background cause - 2 year olds collect cold like trainspotters collect locomotive numbers). I seen to feel that his nursery school does not take his asthma very seriously, 1, because he has never had an attack there (because he is at home if he is bad and they still charge me £33 for the privilage. or 2, is it because he is not the classical short of breath wheezer ?

Yours in frustration. Campbell

2 Replies

  • Hi. I had a similar problem to yours when my son was at a creche. They never gave him his inhalers due to the fact that you could barely hear a wheeze but he would cough. Once I picked him up and he was coughing terribly, they said he had been fine but I gave him his inhaler and it had no effect . It was quite apparent he had been coughing for a long time and as a result he ended up in hospital on 4 back to back nebs then every hour until he was weaned onto 10 puffs every 4 hours and allowed home. I was quite upset that I left my baby in the care of someone else wno, dispite being told of his symptoms, choose to ignore them and left him ill.

    He is now at pre school and they are brilliant with his asthma. We drew up a plan together and it is all written on a piece of paper where *all* staff can see it. It says that if he coughs it is better to be safe and give him a couple of puffs of his inhaler and if they are in any doubt as to weather he needs it then they should go ahead and use it as it won't harm him but missing that vital sign can lead to upset and distress all around and ultimately hospital addmission.

    He has only needed it a few times anyway because I don't send him in if I know he is not doing so well.

    I would suggest you go in and have a talk to the manager of the nursery, say what you have said here and explain the outcome of him not having it etc. There is a leaflet available on here for nursery/schools etc so maybe get one to take in.

    When my son started pre school I took loads of info for them, as I didn't want a repeat of the other incident, and they were very greatful of it and even phoned the asthma nurse on here to chat to for more info which I suggested they do as all childrens symptoms and triggers are different.



  • I am sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with your son's nursery /creche. My son is 6 and he NEVER wheezes, he starts with a cough that sounds like a false cough, but then it builds until he can't breath and it is making him sick.

    I have seen out of hours Doctors who look at me as if I am stupid when I say he is having an Asthma attack with no wheeze, and so I can imagine it is quite difficult for someone who is untrained and not used to Asthma. Often it is young girls who work in nurseries without children of their own. They need to be made aware of how dangerous Asthma is and that it is very common for children to cough instead of wheeze.

    I think the previous message from Campbell gives some great practicle advice. You do need a care plan in the nursery, they need to understand that if in doubt, give the inhaler. Becuase it has become a household word people forget that Asthma kills. The community nurse (from my health centre) helped me put an action plan into place at my sons school after they left him alone, during an Asthma attack, waiting for me to pick him up. He was very frightened by the time I got there.

    You are paying a lot of money to this creche, and you are entrusting them with the most precious thing you have. You have the right to be firm and make sure they understand what you and your child need from them. Most of all, you need to know that your sons well being is in safe hands.

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