Log in
Asthma UK community forum
11,914 members17,948 posts

What to do with a toddler in an attack

My son is 2.5 yrs old and on both blue and brown inhaler and montelekast unless he has a cold normally he's good up until this last few weeks

He's had a cough mainly night for two weeks and had two lots of five day course of preds

What i wanted to know because I've never had it before what do people want in an attack

He starts with a coughing fit and I'll start his ventolin as quickly it escalates however the bad one on Thursday meant I had to call ambulance as I followed his asthma plan

Should I offer him juice, take him outside if not too cold ? Anything else to help his cough or calm him down? So horrid to watch and feel helpless ! Luckily he's a star and will let me do his spacer and ventolin as Thursday has total of 21 puffs by time ambulance arrived and he could breathe better

15 Replies

Colds can cause asthma to flare up... my advice is plenty of fluids the fluid will help to keep the body hydrated and soften and loosen mucus... you could also try cough mixture but these only provide temporary relief and there arent many for young children (plenty of fluids are the best route)


Thankyou yes he luckily likes drinking his squash or water

Yeh his cold always kicks it off but at moment think he has mucus from hayfever but having hayfever liquid and think that's helped


Sadly with viruses you have to " ride it out" by that I mean increase brown (if you can on doctors advice) and take ventolin as prescribed (usually 4 times a day) and a bit more if needed but there is no quick fix

Our little one had her first attack a few months ago (we actually didn't know she had asthma at this point shed been given a blue inhaler when she had a chest infection just in case months before, because me and mum both have asthma) she had been a bit wheezy with a cold so we had given her a blue inhaler throughout the day and she'd been fine

went to bed and I woke up and heard her disturbed,she didn't sound right so I jumped out of bed grabed her out of her cot to try and calm her down she was definitely struggling to breathe and was trying to winge but couldn't get a proper winge out

I woke the babys mum up and said get her inhaler she got it but baby was too distraught... so I said to the Mrs dial 999 and we kept trying to give her some ventolin paramedics turned up and nebulised salbutamol and took us to hospital where they gave her almost an adults dose of prednisone before sending us on our way

I think it is freightening for you and the child but as long as you have a clear "battle plan" and stay as calm and collected as you can (it helps to keep everyone calm) it sounds like your probably doing everything you can

If he suffers Hay fever this time of year it's tree pollen season ;)

When my asthma is playing up I just want it to settle down..... and a lot of the time it means taking it a bit easier, increasing the relevant meds and waiting (I've tried getting my little one to take it easy for about 10 mins and gave up they seem to bounce back much quicker than we do)...I call my GP if I need advice and what they can't do over the phone in an advice call they get me an appointment for



Its scary isn't it

Yeh we see specialist and he actually got diagnosed with it young at 18 months as had all the symptoms along with chest that looked concaved

He's on a asthma plan now and like u say just have to follow it

I think if it's bad at min it must be hayfever that's setting it off as no cold and chest is clear

Just this annoying night cough

Thanks for advice


Do you leave a window open in his room?

I was once told pollen rises in the morning and drops of a night making symptoms worse at these times (something to do with temperature changes and air currents)

Are you using over the counter anti histamines?... i found that they werent strong enough and the gp prescribed me something


Asthma nurse told me to buy loradine so it is just from boots pharmacy, I'll go docs weds With and ask for prescription one as think it is helping

Just wish I could take this cough away from him, woke in nap coughing lots earlier he's shattered!!


A gp told me to do the same and when i phoned up as it wasnt enough a gp thats been at my practice for years said no no there not going to do it (id just had an aero alergy test a few weeks before)


Luckily my docs do what asthma specialist team do so hopefully mine will be ok


Thats good then hopefully there will be something prescription he can have... you might have to fight for it as the gp that originally told me to go get loratidine said "the bean counters dont like us prescribing things you can buy over the over the counter".... so i assume there is some sort of nhs rule/cost cutting excecise


Oh really might be different for kids

Literally they ask me if I want nasal drops and calpol, probably because I was in and out every other month with him poorly and some kind of chest infection or cold triggering rough times!

I can kinda understand if the same stuff tho as some people take the P**s and ask for paracetamol on prescription and you can by it for 19p!!


Yeah i had no objection to buying over the counter anti histamines as it would save the nhs loads (i take a minimum of one a day) however they spent ages telling me what i was allergic to and how my ige count was geting higher so i had kept coming into contact with stuff i was allergic too and after a quick conversation about it the second time they gave me fexofenadine 180mg (quite a bit stronger than 10mg loratidine) and some times one is not quite enough (i can take up to three a day)

1 like

The judgement call with toddlers is always tricky, but I'd always go with the 'err on the side of caution' approach. If you find you can calm him with a drink/toys/fresh air that's fine, but if you think it's going beyond acceptable (& our GP when dealing with my son always advised a low threshold) then get medical support, up to & including 999. Over time though, you'll start to develop a sense of what you need to do (& of course as he grows he will be able to tell you how he feels), so the situation will feel more manageable as time passes.



Yes this is what I have to do and listen/look at his chest

Twice it's quickly got worse and I've had to call 999

A lot of docs say that don't worry just call 999


Absoloutely call 999 if you think he's going downhill... children can decline rapidly and with asthma even adults can... the stats are something like 9 adults die a day from asthma most of which are preventable deaths


Your doing everything right i wouldnt give him drink incase he chocks on it i know its hard but stay really calm and tell him to try and breath in through nose out through mouth xx

1 like

You may also like...