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Childhood asthma

Hi my son is 5 and has been treated for asthma since he was 3. His asthma isn't wheezy but it involves a very bad cough,usually at night time,sometimes sick from the coughing,the cough can last anything from 3 to 8 weeks. He has these coughs on average 3-4 times a year. He has a blue inhaler which I give him 4 hourly when he is bad,he does have a brown inhaler but he can't stand the taste of it and it almost makes him sick so very unsuccessful attempts to give it to him, he also takes montelukast of a night time. Just wondering if there are any tips for trying to calm this cough when there are flare ups? I've got rid of all of his cuddly toys as I know they attract dust, I tried steam,we also have a humidifier, i also give antihistamine. sometimes one or all things tried take the edge off but he's still bad,especially at night. Thanks in advance

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Hi jc1985 best advice I can give is to phone the helpline they will probably be able to help you, it is very very distressing to have a sick child gentle hug on its way ♥♥♥

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Thank you for your reply. It turned out he has a small chest infection and also post nasal drip which apparently is worse with people with asthma. He's on antibiotics now and also medicine to stop the drip. Thanks all


It may be worth seeing a chiropractor and an Alexander Teacher.

You can get a cough as a result of muscle tensions in the wrong sort of places. Remove these muscle tensions and the cough can subside. You have seen the medics. None of the medics would have examined for muscle tension and attempted to do anything about it.

If you feel your son's rib cage you may find that it is very tight and lacks flexibility compared to someone who does not suffer from asthma. The very tight rib cage will interfere with the ability to breathe well. If your son has a very tight rib cage there are people who can help loosen the over tight muscles.

Muscle tension problems tends to to be the expertise of the complementary medical people. Because of your son's age I do not know if there are complementary specialists out there who can help.


My younger son also developed asthma aged three years and was put on flixotide after four emergency call outs in the space of four months. I'm not sure montelukast was available then (we're talking 1990s here), but we had no problems getting him to use his inhaler. This may well be because initially he was only given ventolin (GPs were - and I believe still are - wary about putting small children on inhaled steroids) and I suspect our son realised very quickly that inhalers equated with being able to breath and feeling better. There were, however, other things we did. Firstly, we put down hard flooring in his bedroom (wall to wall carpets are less than ideal floor coverings for asthmatics). Secondly, every morning we opened his bedroom window for an hour (even in winter with sub zero temperatures outside) and threw back the bed clothes so that his room and bed could be thoroughly aired out. Thirdly, if there was condensation on the windows we towelled them down to prevent mold developing (mold is a known trigger for asthmatics). Fourthly, we never had the heating on in his room so his room was kept cool during the day. Late in the afternoon we used to open his bedroom door so that the warmth from the rest of the house could take the chill off in his room before he went to bed. Fifth, we did not store stuff under his bed because a) it prevents air circulation under his bed which would help with airing after it's been slept in and b) items stored under the bed are very effective dust traps. I will go on to say that we did allow him to keep his soft toys; he was particularly attached to one of them. Soft toys can, after all, be washed.

One final, positive note. My younger son is now twenty three and although he still has them, he hardly ever needs to use an inhaler these days:-)

Hope this helps.


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This is all great advice. In particularly about equating feeling better with taking the medicine. My son had to have 2 operations in his first 3 months. When he came around from the second one he was really badly fighting for breath. Knowing the history of family asthma (me & my dad before me both fairly severe), he was given medication within days. Granted starting as a baby meant he grew up knowing he had to have it so we never really had to 'teach' him to take it, but like all kids he would try to duck & dive, and like every young lad in history, forget.

He was, is & always will be football mad & probably the single biggest driver for us was him knowing that he would last longer & play better if he could breath properly. Over time he would start to equate forgetting with being subbed at half time, which was a far better teacher than his old ma & pa.

And just as with MaggieHP's son he has grown into a strong, physically fit young adult needing far less by way of medication than I do.

It can be really tough with kids. When he was months old he would scream whenever we put the mask over his face. He must have been terrified, but just like feeding them broccoli & making them walk to school now & again, you just have to persevere & keep trying to help them realise that it is to keep them well.

When you see him a fit, strong bloke (which I'm sorry to say will come around far more quickly than you would ever imagine) you will know it was all worth it.

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