Toddler asthma


We are new to this and to forums.....hoping to get some tips and advice. Our son is two, has asthma. Will not take his inhalers as he has taken a dislike to the spacers. We've tried making it fun, toys having inhalers, ones that whistle, decorating with stickers and are getting no where fast. Today his symptoms are very bad and a referral to a specialist has been made. Any advice on getting our stubborn and determined two year old to use his spacers so medication can be taken?

Thank you very much.

14 Replies

  • Speak to Asthma UK nurses? Sorry can't help.

  • Have you been able to work out what it is about them that he doesn't like?. It's twenty years + since my (now twenty four year old) son first had to use an inhaler. He actually had a sort of mask that went over his mouth and nose when he was really small - does your son have one of these, and is this the cause of the problem?

    To be fair, we didn't have an issue with our son. He hated the feeling of finding it hard to breath (largely, I suspect, because it prevented him from doing things he wanted to do) and so had no issues with either the inhaler or the spacer.

  • As an addition to the above: the reason I wonder about the mask (if he has one) is that it might well seem frightening to him to have something put over his mouth and nose when he's already struggling to breathe. Just a thought ...

  • Thank you for replying. We have the spacer that can be used with and without a mask.....he doesn't like it going over his face. You are quite right. Being asthmatic myself I just wish he could have a few puffs of ventolin as I know how much it would help him. The preventer we give through the spacer at night when he is asleep so that's good! Can you get ventolin as a liquid or is that a very silly question?!

  • Have you tried a rewards scheme for him? Something like a star chart with a pizza/burger/chocolate for getting so many points?

  • Hi. We find the easiest way to get children to do something is a reward. We fill a large jar with little wrapped rewards like sweets small toys or balloons etc and every time they use the inhaler they get to pick one. It works brilliantly for potty training as well. I have a 5 years old grandson with asthma and we found that some of the inhalers have a nasty taste. We talked to the chemist and they order him ones that have no smell. Ive had brittle asthma all my life ( I'm 64 ) and I can't use the cheap inhalers. I do sympathise I've got a lot of grandchildren and it's not easy getting a child to take anything they don't want to !!! xx

  • This is really helpful....made me think! Initially when he had just the ventolin he was ok ish at taking it and looking back the refusal started when the preventer inhaler was added. It does have a taste/smell and I hadn't thought that there might be something available with no taste/smell. Will definitely check this out. Thank you for pointing this out. Extremely helpful.

  • Hi. The preventive was the problem with my grandson. I found the cheap inhalers have a different propelent and it smells and makes my asthma worse. The inhalers we use are made by Allen & Hanbury. Our chemist was very helpful and they order ours in for us. Good luck xx

  • I forgot to say yes you can get liquid ventolin but it goes into a nebuliser you can't take it orally. xx

  • Hi, it helped with my son when he was about the same age as yours when he saw me use the spacer and inhaler. I did this several times I do have asthma as well) and and we also used rewards. In hindsight, he would not have liked the smell of the preventers either. I do sympathise as our biggest problem was getting our son to take oral prednisolone and in the end I had to hide it in a homemade portion of fruit salad as he wouldn't even swallow it from a syringe. Do try contacting asthma uk for further advice too. Wishing you all the best

  • hi my son was diagnosed with asthma at 12 mths, I bought gold fish lol, every time I needed to get him to take inhalers, I would sit in front of fish tank and sing nursery rhymes, I also would give it when he was asleep if coughing at night, it gets easier he will get use to it.

    my son is 14 now.

    good luck .😊

  • Hi, have you considered an Accuhaler which does not need a spacer, you just suck the powder into your lungs. I don't notice the powder and there is no after taste.

  • I had this. I had to pretend to play doctors in the daytime and teddy was coughing so we got the spacer out and told teddy not to be scared. We did a silly little rhyme while holding the spacer over teddy's face and teddy "laughed" Next day we reversed the game. Teddy was the doctor and my toddler was the patient. We got him to have a bit of fun at teddy's doctor voice and he was quite happy to repeat the game at bedtime. A few wasted puffs of inhaler in teddy's fur was a small price to pay. And soon he loved the rhyme...we progressed to G-A-B-R-I-E-L spells, numbers, alphabet song. Anything that would allow me to get the dose in him while he happily sat and breathed in and out.

    I hope he has a teddy!

  • Thank you. He has used his inhalers with the spacers ok today. Postman Pat uses it first, then his sister and then he will. The mind of a toddler! Thank you for replying, helpful to know we are not on our own with this issue.

You may also like...