Hello All,

After already having some great advise on here.

I am just after thoughts on Peak flow readings, I am trying to get my little boy of nearly 6 to get into the habit of doing his peak flow...... Not sure how accurate we are with this!!!

He has just recently had a 3 day course of steroids as had a poorly weekend last.

After picking up almost instantly, yesterday afternoon my mothers instinct feels he is not quite right!!! Peak flow reading we had last night was 150 although he was not wheezy I just felt he wasn't 100%.

Reading this morning just above 100!! Gave him 2 puffs of his blue inhaler as I now sense a slight wheeze! Should I continue giving blue inhaler regularly as Peak flow low?

Going to see asthma nurse next week.

He is fine thought the summer ...As soon as back to school in September nothing but colds and runny nose which always triggers a decline.

Any advice welcome.

Thank you


24 Replies

  • Does he have a preventer as well?

    I know when I was younger I would take two puffs of Ventolin morning and night with my preventer, and then take more if I had a tight chest, persistent chesty cough, a wheeze or I had a low peak flow. The amount of ventolin I took would obviously vary and when I was younger my mother would space out dose of one puff during the day if I had a persistent cough and if it didn't ease in a couple of days she would take me to the doctor. However if I was displayng more acute symptoms such as a wheeze or tight chest, I would get Ventolin as I required it and usually at two puffs or more until they settled as being young I wasn't very good at acknowledging when I was experiencing symptoms or what they were.

    On the point of the peak flow, when we first started doing it my mum tried to make it a game and used a rewards system. I would get a sticker for every time I took my peak flow and once I had 14 (one for morning and night over a week) I got to pick something special from the corner shop (usually sweets), if I remembered to take my peak flow myself and asked my mom to do it instead of being told to do it, I would get an extra star which were saved up over a longer period of time for something else special (I was into colouring so I used to base my requests on things like that) The reward system made it so I got into the habit of taking my peak flow and wanting to do it myself so I would get a reward.

    Hope this helps even a little

  • Thank you Beth,

    All advice is gratefully received, I feel a little out of my depth at times knowing what to do for the best?

    I obviously want avoid him being poorly, it seams to be very much a time of year thing too.

    Yes he has a preventer (Clenil) of which I up from 1 to 2 puffs morning and night at the first sign of cough or cold.

    He is quite happy doing a peak flow but I am wondering how well he does it as He can have very varied readings!! I always do 3 and take the highest.

    My concerns are as soon as the wheeze starts his blue inhaler isn't always effective and he struggles to go four hourly between doses.

    I am hoping to have more positive Advise from the asthma nurse next week, I have printed off my own copy of an Action plan from the Asthma site as never had or be told of this through the Dr.

    I do also wonder if a different type of inhaler would help better at this time of year???

    Thank you for you reply it is appreciated.

    I hope your Asthma is well under control now?

    Many Thanks


  • Does he use a spacer when taking his ventolin as that can help with technique? Taking three peak flows and taking the highest if definitely the right way to do it.

    He may need a different inhaler or a combination but obviously the asthma nurse will be able to advice on that one.

    My asthma was under control for a very long time but I've had a bad flare up this year, but its getting more controlled again :)

  • Many Thanks Beth,

    Yes we use a spacer, he has used a blue inhaler on and off since about 2 1/2 as always getting chest infections, so he copes and uses his inhaler well. Had the preventer only last year as GP felt had to be treated as Asthmatic.

    I hope you are soon 100% again.

    Thanks Again.


  • It sounds like you are being an absolutely great mum. Hopefully the asthma nurse will be able to help more with his medications.

    Hopefully as he grows he will get stronger with his lungs and his symptoms will settle and become more controlled. If you can get him involved in activities which focus on breathing techniques, such as swimming (if he can tolerate the chemicals in swimming pools) and singing, even playing woodwind instruments, that can help build up his lung strength and stamina. My mums always sworn my lung capacity was so good even with asthma because I was an avid swimmer and took singing lessons.

  • Oh bless you 😊 Thank you.

    He loves swimming. His sister is the singing songbird in the family ..... We will see if we can persuade him to join the choir too!!!

    Thank you so much for all your advice xx

  • No problem :)

  • The very reason I ended up spending years in brass bands!! My GP told my mum when I was at infant school (early 1970s) that playing the trumpet was better than inhalers. I wouldn't really advocate that but I'm sure it did me some good!

  • This is quite funny as George has told me already he would like to play the trumpet after a taster session at school recently. I will look in to this ..... After purchasing myself some ear plugs ☺️☺️

  • Well, if you think that gives you problems....

    I ended up playing the tuba.

  • 😫😫😂

  • I definitely think there is a strong link between the two. The control required helps the lungs, or at least in my opinion it does

  • hi, my son was the same at that age, I used to buy a cough and cold syrup from chemist to dry up runny nose, up inhalers takes about two weeks to regain control, but make sure you tell pharmacy hes asthmatic, it really help my son over the year, it gets better with age to.

    hope this helps.

    take care 😊

  • Oh Thank you,

    Had not thought of that before, he rarely has a cough but seams to constantly get blocked up or have a runny nose. Maybe a boy thing as he constantly touches things a puts his fingers in his mouth .... Or up his nose!!!

    Have been told it may well be something he out grows in time!

    Thank you again x

  • It's difficult to measure PF in small children to be honest because they don't always blow well into it & the margins between a good and poor score are very small. In my experience, Mum's instinct is probably every bit as good. Ironically with my son, my wife (non-asthmatic) was far better at judging my son than I was (lifelong asthmatic). I even got a telling off once from our GP for not taking his asthma seriously enough!!

    Golden rule for me...if in doubt, get help. Better safe than sorry especially until PF, etc. become more reliable as he gets older.

  • Thank you.

    Yes something to be said for a mothers intuition!!

    I can very often sense mearly by his voice or laugh he is not quite right & although he tells me he is fine! More often than not the next day he will suddenly tell me he is wheezy.

    He is not six until next month so guessing the practice of peak flow testing will help later on.

    At the moment if we have had a "struggle day" I will always ensure to be seen the next day or as an emergency sooner if needed.

    Would really like help on getting to grips with spotting the decline and how to treat before it gets worse.

    Thanks for your help.

  • I think declines with asthma can be quite sudden so there's no magic bullet to detect it, hence the importance of intuition. If you think his breathing is heavier, he isn't hassling you quite as relentlessly as on a normal day or is disinclined to play out they may all be clues. My lad is in his 20s now so it's a while back, but as an asthmatic I had a terribly blase attitude, whereas my wife refused to let him suffer & would generally rely on intuition (in reality though it's not - it's knowing your child well enough to know something isn't quite right), & get him to the GP.

    Unless you have a useless GP though, very few will berate you for seeking help. so just go.

    Also, it will get easier, trust me! My son is rarely troubled now with asthma in spite of several childhood hospitalisations - whereas I have far worse problems in my 50s thanks to poor interventions; so have faith that you're doing the right thing!

  • Thank you, this is very reassuring to hear that it becomes less troublesome...... This said!! I often feel I am more troubled than my son at times, he is rarely distressed or uncomfortable in anyway !! I however have the sleepless nights checking on him and watching & listening to his breathing throughout the night!!

    I am sorry you are not so trouble free.

    Thanks for your time & advice

  • Unfortunately I'm a product of the era I grew up in. My doctor believed inhalers were bad for children :(

    Luckily we don't have 1960s any more :D

    As for the sleepless nights...I can relate! There were times I thought I'd never sleep again so I know it's hard. As a caring parent you can't just switch off. I work in a primary school though these days & by 7yo or so, self management is starting to happen. You will also feel more confident with his description of how he feels as time passes.

  • Couldn't agree more! I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum, being 66 with recently diagnosed late onset asthma (it was the colds that gave it away for me!), but even I have concluded quite quickly that peak flow readings are not a good indicator of symptoms or their severity. If someone is clearly in distress then they need medication, regardless of their peak flow. I think the advice in this message stream has been very sensible and has helped me think of a few alternatives. I wish Jo and her son all the very best in what must be a very trying experience for them both.

  • It sounds like you are doing everything right! There is some great advice already here and I love the peak flow sticker chart thing, but as numbers involved are so low a mum's intuition is best. The blocked nose syrup is a good idea. The only other thing I might investigate is an antihistamine but getting one suitable for a child that doesn't cause drowsiness might be difficult. It may work if there are specific triggers you can identify but often it's just a sniffle, the cold weather, the central heating etc...worth a go though.

    You are doing great! Hope he is feeling better soon. X

  • Might try this myself! Having trouble with corticosteroid inhalers so will try antihistamines. Didn't realise there were blocked nose syrups - might be useful for my perennial colds!

  • Thank you all lovely people.

    I am grateful to you all

  • If you are thinking of going down the antihistamine route, speak to the nurse/doctor. My son takes piriton for allergic reactions but I was advised by his consultant not to give it to him on a daily basis as it is proven to affect academic progress. He prescribed an alternative which he can take when he needs a regular dose.

    Hope things soon become more settled.

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