Three year old just diagnosed with asthma

Hi, all. My little girl is three and has had continuous chest infections and other symptoms for a year now. On Friday she get very poorly: unable to talk, lethargic, didn't want to talk, eat or play. I took her to the doctors and was sent straight to hospital where she had to stay over night and was given a nebuliser every couple of hours.

We're home now and finally have a diagnosis: asthma. I knew it was coming and am glad to finally have an answer and something to (hopefully) prevent further attacks (she's on oral steroids for the next few days, steroid inhalers twice a day for as long as necessary and sabutamol inhalers when needed) but now I've realised I don't know the first thing about asthma. The only person I know with asthma is my big sister but she didn't develop it until adulthood.

She's not due to see the specialist until January.

What next?! I should have asked at the hospital but I was so tired from not sleeping and worried about my daughter I forgot to ask all the most obvious questions.

Can we still use aerosols in the house or are they a no-no?

Will plug in air freshmers affect her?

Can I still take her out in very cold weather? (We're a very active family and like to be out of the house most of the time!)

Am I suposed to restrict her level of activity?

Anybody else got a child as young as this with asthma? How does it affect day to day life?

How dangerous is asthma?

Also we have two cats. My Mum-in-law will not shut up about me getting rid of them! My little girl loves the cats and it would break her heart to have to give them up.

They're short hair cats. My Mum has a long hair cat and two shorthairs and whenever we go to her house the long hair cat sets me off sneezing and makes my face itch and hurt. My daughter, on the other hand, is not affected at all by my Mum's cats. Surely is my cats were a problem my Mum's cats would affect her too? I really don't want to have to get rid of the cats!

My husband smokes. He's not allowed to smoke in the house or anywhere near the children but I'm still sure cigarette smoke on his clothes etc will not be helping our little girl. He and his Mum (the one who thinks the cats are a problem) refuse to accept this. They both say there's no way him smoking outside could affect my daughter. Is this true? Can third hand smoke on clothes make my daughter's asthma worse or will she really be fine with it so long as he doesn't smoke near her?

Sorry for long post, there's just so much I don't know and I'm feeling pretty helpless right now! :(

7 Replies

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  • Hayley, if you ring the free phone number, top left of each page here, you will get the very best medical advice

  • well the easy answer to the cats (hopefully) is to ask for allergy tests and hope they come out negative for the cats, i think even if she does prove positive for cats there are things that can be done to reduce the effects but i'm not entirely sure about that. Allergy tests would also maybe give you a starting point regarding potential triggers.

    Your questions about aerosols / air fresheners / activity / cold weather etc are difficult to answer because everyone's triggers are so different, it may take some time trying elimination / re-introducing things to see if you can pinpoint triggers

    Joan is also correct that you can ring the AUK nurses, i've never rung them myself but Philomela is always singing their praises LOL

  • Hi

    My son is 2.5yrs old and has asthma. We haven't had a great time with him the last couple of months and despite his medications his asthma is still uncontrolled. We have had 4 stays in hospital in the last 3 months. I'm glad it's only a week til his next consultants appointment as his asthma still isn't great and when he's bad tbh it scares me.

    The consultant we saw said we should try to reduce any potential for making asthma worse so suggested removing cuddly toys, rugs etc we don't have any pets but always get asked if we do as pets can be a trigger for asthma attacks. We haven't worked out what the triggers tend to be for our son yet but catching any kind of cold of virus seems to be a guaranteed visit to the hospital lately.

    Jenny x x

  • Hi

    My son is 2.5yrs old and has asthma. We haven't had a great time with him the last couple of months and despite his medications his asthma is still uncontrolled. We have had 4 stays in hospital in the last 3 months. I'm glad it's only a week til his next consultants appointment as his asthma still isn't great and when he's bad tbh it scares me.

    The consultant we saw said we should try to reduce any potential for making asthma worse so suggested removing cuddly toys, rugs etc we don't have any pets but always get asked if we do as pets can be a trigger for asthma attacks. We haven't worked out what the triggers tend to be for our son yet but catching any kind of cold of virus seems to be a guaranteed visit to the hospital lately.

    Jenny x x

    Thanks for all the answers. Went to see the doctor yesterday and he was lovely. He was really helpful, providing answers to all the questions I was struggling with and he gave my daughter a new babyhaler as she was struggling with the big spacer device she'd been given previously.

    Cold weather does seem to be a trigger for my daughter as her episodes started last Winter, stopped all Summer and started again in early September this year when the weather started to get cooler. It always started when everybody else in the family has a sniffle or flu as well. The doctor suggested not going out in cold weather which is going to be incredibly hard for us but if it makes her better I'm willing to try it.

    The doctor said he didn't want to test for cat allergies as it meant doing a blood test which seemed cruel just for that, especially when cats could be a trigger without her being allergic to them. The cats are banned from her bedroom and I'm going to start vacuuming in there twice a day (well, being cooped up all day at least I'll have time to do it! Haha) as well to keep it free of dust. One of my friends reccomended hypoalergenic bedding although that won't be any good for my DD as she's managed to get attached to her duvet (it's a Mothercare one with giraffes on and the cover isn't removable) and can't sleep without it! Lol...typical!

    Thanks again. I'm feeling much happier with the diagnosis since speaking to the doctor. :)

  • As an ex smoker (prior to my diagnosis), I can safely say that that just the smell of cigarettes can set of an attack. It can take up to 3hrs for all the chemicals in cigarettes to go, though the smell can still linger. I've taken clothes out that I haven't worn since quiting, and I could still smell the smoke. So it is possible.

    Also having two dogs, I've shelled out on a dyson pet hoover, to help pick up the hair (as they can be a trigger). Also you can buy anti-allergens covers for the bed, which help me. I also have a friend whose son is allergeric to cats, as she's kept her cats. I can ask how she does it, if you like, might have a better suggestion than I have.

    Sadly the cold weather may also be having an effect atm.

    I also something I find helps, is showering just before bed, and changing bedsheets, in the evening. So that there's little allergens on. Though usually this helps with my hayfever, it might help keep any hairs of cats down.

  • As an ex smoker (prior to my diagnosis), I can safely say that that just the smell of cigarettes can set of an attack. It can take up to 3hrs for all the chemicals in cigarettes to go, though the smell can still linger. I've taken clothes out that I haven't worn since quiting, and I could still smell the smoke. So it is possible.

    Also having two dogs, I've shelled out on a dyson pet hoover, to help pick up the hair (as they can be a trigger). Also you can buy anti-allergens covers for the bed, which help me. I also have a friend whose son is allergeric to cats, as she's kept her cats. I can ask how she does it, if you like, might have a better suggestion than I have.

    Sadly the cold weather may also be having an effect atm.

    I also something I find helps, is showering just before bed, and changing bedsheets, in the evening. So that there's little allergens on. Though usually this helps with my hayfever, it might help keep any hairs of cats down.

    Thank you very much for your answer. That's interesting about the smoke. I'll let my husband know.

    As for the cats thing I'd like as much info as possible so if your friend has any helpful information I'd be really grateful, thank you! :)

    We need a new vacuum cleaner, I'll look into investing in a Dyson. :) Thanks again!

  • Hello!

    Washing everything at 60o helps kill off dust mites. Let beds air during the day as dust mites like the warmth ofthe duvet to breed.

    I'm allergic to cats and it does trigger my asthma but since being on montelukast I can be around cats symptom free! :-D

    Take care x

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