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Child Asthma Symptoms

My two year old child has asthma, normally triggered by a cough or cold. He does not speak much yet and I am conserned that I should be able to spot the symptoms in time.I have a few ques

1. Is noisy breathing like taking deep breaths - when I am putting him to sleep at night a sign - do I need to give him vreliever puff then.

2. When he comes down with even a slight cough - I know it will eventually trigger his asthama but I can not control his cough. I give him steem inhalations and karvol vapours .What else can I do ? Do cough syrups help? Our GP normally does not recommend antibiotics ? any suggestions?

8 Replies

Dear Pixy,

You have my sympathy, it is very hard with small children, both my gtandchildren are asthmatic. The cough itself could be the asthma, that is how mine presents, I don't wheeze as such and antibiotics are no good as it is caused by inflamation of the bronchioles, not infection.

My grandson had a preventer day and night and was given the reliever when he coughed. He coughed even in his sleep, although it didn't wake him, which I found amazing. Cough syrups over the counter I never found any good, but the Dr sometimes gives me one. Not sure if it is ok for children.Raising the head of his bed a bit to help his breathing is worth a try, if you don't want to give him a pillow /extra pillow, as such put a firm pillow or similar under the mattress, or raise the end of the bed slighty (making sure it can't slip). Our practise has an asthma clinic and an asthma nurse, check this out at your practise, ours are always more than willing to help and give advice.

Is your child worse after drinking milk or haveing milky products? My Granddaughter was/is haveing a perpetually (it seemed) runny nose, 9very often green, lovely!) so my daughter stopped dairy products and she now has goats and is so much better, could be worth a try, there are plenty of soya alternatives too. My grandson is now nearly 8 and his symptoms have almost gone away. He has the occasional bout with a bad cold but this is kept under control with inhalers which he now has only at that time. Best of luck and there is help out there. Mo


Thanks a bunch. It is a wonderful detailed reply and I will use your experience.I have never tried soya products but will it sounds like a good alternative as he too has a similar green runny nose.

Thanks again


DEar Pixie,

Let us know how he goes. I told my daughter about it and she immediately said tell her about dairy products. let's face it to try no dairy for a while is harmless as long as he gets calcium in his diet from something else. I hope it helps. A lot of children to grow out of asthma so I hope your little boy does.


please if you are thinking of trying a dairy free diet for your child talk to your gp about a referral to a dietian 1st as a child needs a lot of calcium in their diet whilst growing otherwise problems can occur. This is something that should either be discussed with your gp or your Health visitor who can offer alternatives for calcium intake.


I dont think starting a child on a diary free diet is something to be taken lightly. It was suggested to us to by a hospital dietician when my son was about four as something to try out. We found it very difficult to maintain and found many unexpected foods contained diary products. It wasnt a case of just cutting out the obvious and required real commitment.

I would echo Katherines post and suggest you discuss a dairy free diet with gp or health visitor.


I would agree that no young child should be put on any sort of restricted diet without consultation with a doctor and preferably also a state-registered dietician. It is very easy for children to become deficient in dietary nutrients, not just the obvious ones like calcium but all sorts of vitamins and trace elements that you may not even consider.

Avoiding dairy products may well be helpful to some children with asthma and allergies but it should certainly be done under supervision.

Take care,

Em H


I agree with Em and Julie cutting out dairy in a 2 year old or trying any sort of exclusion diet in a child should only be done under dr/dietician guidance. My twins are allergic to milk and it is very difficult to ensure they have no dairy ( no sausages, chicken nuggets, crisps, many different sweets etc) It can have a huge effect psychologically on a child if not handled correctly even at a young age and i would not recommend limiting your childs diet unless you absolutely have to.

A point to note steam vapours and Karvol can actually make the cough worse steam by loosening gunk (a good thing but bowls of hot water/steam thingys dangerous around a 2yr old unless they're just in a steamy bathroom!) and Karvol actually irritates my daughters lungs even more so that she starts to wheeze.

I would go back to your GP for clear advice about when to use the inhalers or ring the asthma nurses on the number on this site, they were very helpful when my daughter was little.



Thanks for all your replies.

I took him to a consultant on Saturday and he has now been given oral steroids as I guess despite the inhalers , it has been a month and his asthama has not subsided.I am not very happy giving them but I guess if he needs it medically I just have to do it.It is regrettable though that the |GP did not send him to an nhs Consultant and it was solely my initiative to go privately (via insurance). They are doing a blood test to check against alergies so I guess we would know shortly.

Thanks again for your concerns.



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