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Parent new to Asthma


My 4 year old son has been regularly seeing doctors for almost 3 years. About once a month he gets unwell, lethargic, lots of coughing which leads to a phlegm based vomit, and he looses appetite and just wants to sleep. This has lead to concerns about his growth and weight but tests show he is ok.

A year ago he went to see a top pediatric respiratory consultant in Oxford but he was fit and well at the time and we were told he does not have asthma.

In the past 8 months we have made almost monthly trips to the GP when he is struggling with breathing and coughing and finally the GP has said its asthma and referred him to an Asthma nurse.

His trigger appears to be a cold, flu, sore throat or any kind of bug. The GP and Nurse have put him on 2 lots of Brown inhaler in the morning, and another 2 at night, along with Montelukast every evening. His shots of brown go up to 5 if he gets the first sign of a cold. His blue inhaler is used only if he starts coughing. He has also been prescribed Steroid tablets to be given for 5 days as and when the GP/Nurse tell us.

I must admit, I feel overwhelmed by it all really. He thought he was special to start off with taking all his medicines in front of his 3 brothers but now he gets frustrated with it and asks "why me, its not fair".

Has anyone else got/had a small child with this cold / flu type trigger? It would be good to see how other people have managed it and help me gauge if the medication doses are normal, excessive etc.



5 Replies

My son was diagnosed at 18 months with viral induced asthma. We too have the dark brown inhaler there's is a lower dose light brown. He has two puffs morning and night to prevent or assist with longer relief. Blue as a when he needs it and steroids (pred) 20mg per day over 3 days if needed. We don't take the montelukast as we have issues but it does work to relieve night time coughing.

The dose of brown inhaler is high but with each child symptoms the medicine must be tweaked gentle until you don't have as many episodes per year.

Keep in touch with his asthma nurse at your GPs they will monitor his meds.

If your son has an episode make sure you have his meds with you and get familiar with it all as parents we often know more about our child's condition than any doctor we see whether it's the gp or hospital.

Make sure you're using the spacer as it delivers 80% of the meds rather than 20% if given without it.

Try to get a routine of washing his mouth out after the inhalers as they can irritate the mouth and throat.

Keep in touch here they have been a great source to calm me down.

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I think I'd want to see a consultant again if I were you - steroid tablets have their own side effects. You could try keeping a diary of his symptoms. If he is coughing at night, try getting him to sleep more upright - on several pillows with ones tucked either side like an armchair, and make sure the room is well aired. You can put a pillow under his knees if he keeps slithering down.

I know it seems unfair - to you as well as him, probably, but look at the celebrities like David Beckham who have asthma; he is is good company!

Once he is older, he will learn to manage his asthma better. In the meantime I expect you are doing exactly the right thing by being matter of fact and calm about it all to him, regardless of your own worries. Good luck!

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it is terrible, i was apparently bad as a child and now my little one is 16-17 months old she is suffering terribly the doctors have said they don't diagnose asthma in under 4's (and yet another doctor at the same practice said i will diagnose her in 4 weeks time when you come back to see me for a review)

it is unfair and she runs around playing but we have to stop her to give her inhalers.

she gets really bad when she gets flu (ambulance twice in the last 3 months, because she just couldn't breathe even after taking her blue inhaler)

she has hayfever (like daddy) which makes her asthma worse

but we/she wont let it stop her most of the time and she's just another normal kid


Hi have you tried cutting out all dairy products because milk is in everything . But its easy to do . Along with cutting out gluten I am now asthma free after 40 years .cheers Andy.


Hi have you tried cutting out dairy products . milk is in everything along with cutting out gluten I am now asthma free after 40 years . Cheers Andy.


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