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Chesty infection vs asthma flare up

Hi I'm new to this asthma stuff as my daughter is 20 months and been diagnosed with infant asthma. So I'm learning as i go!

Just wondered how I tell the difference between an asthma flare up and a chest infection?

Am struggling to get her a GP appointment shockingly but her usual asthma cough is a chesty mucus cough which could also be something else!

She's on brown preventer inhaler, blue inhaler and Montelukast. Have been battling for nearly 24 hours to get her wheeze under control but still no luck. Am thinking A&E if I can't get an appointment this afternoon but I hate taking her there unless it's a real Emergancy and this isn't as bad as when she's been blue lighted in.

Like I say, I'm learning as I go with this so any insights would be good.

3 Replies

The biggest giveaway will be temperature. If she has a temperature there will be an infection lurking.

That said, if you have any concerns you should always ring through to your medical practice to get an appointment - and push for an urgent (same day) one. If the receptionist is reluctant (which I very much doubt with a very young child), explain the your child has been diagnosed with asthma. Given the current situation, I would tell them exactly what you have described above. If that doesn't work, then A&E may be your only option.


In honesty it's very difficult. As Maggie says a temperature will indicate an infection but it is really hard to tell with small children. It sounds as though she has a good medication regime so hopefully her asthma is well managed.

To be honest learning as you go along is not a bad strategy. even as an asthmatic myself when my son was little I didn't always know if it was asthma or just childhood bugs. One thing to keep in mind though is that infections and viruses can be triggers for asthma anyway so you should always be alert. Most hospitals will be quite reasonable about checking youngsters over until you feel confident making your own judgement.

As always, better safe than sorry!

1 like

You will find it will last for alot longer if it's a chest infection and people with asthma are more prone to getting infections and bad colds because the inhalers lower the immune system and yes it will be very mucusy, i have a mold allergy so as a child i got asthma because of mold, mold effects children far more than adults, i had a chest infection for like a year till i took antibiotic stereioids which actually cured the asthma too. It may be worth looking into it if it's mold causing your kids asthma, although they usually reccomend antihistmaines but kids cant' take them so all kids can do is take inhalers sadly, doctors are just really bad at treating things, even if they could cure it they won't so just have to make do with what they give us.

I'm sorry she's got such a nasty chest infection so young though, i will tell you to go to the hosptial because when i had it there was a moment where i struggled to breath, it started closing up my wind pipes but i got it under control by breathing outwards which helps relax the wind pipes, i'm glad it worked because it was a scary moment for me, but i'm also glad the antibiotic stereioids cured it and i haven't had to take inhalers since but again she's too young to take those too so definitely a more difficult situation, it was very mucusy too i kept having to spit it up all the time and whenever i went outside it got worse and jsut kept coming out. Definitely go to the hopsital so they can do something more.


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