How to cope with a child with suspect... - Asthma UK communi...

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How to cope with a child with suspected asthma

Sally21 profile image

Hi. I posted a while ago about my 3 year old LG who has suspected asthma and her medication and inhalers are not making a difference. She had the worse year last year and spent most of it coughing. It's really starting to take a toll on my mental health and I'm so anxious all the time about her having flare ups. It's been a week and a half since her last one and she had steriods which made a huge difference. She's started with a a cold again which is the main reason she flares up she's coughed a few times but not like she usually does but I know it will be coming. She doesn't get no break in coughing and it's so hard to watch and listen to her I just don't sleep and neither does she. Every night I sit there just waiting for her to cough. I am honestly at my wits end and don't know what to do anymore. I've bought a nebulizer to try her with that but I need to get some saline drops for it. Has anybody had experience with nebulizers and do they help coughing? Thank you and sorry for the long post!!! X

14 Replies

Sorry to hear this and can’t comprehend what you are going through. You really need to speak to your gp about the situation and get referred to a specialist. I don’t believe you should be using a nebuliser (even with saline) without medical directions. Nebulisers are very specialised pieces of equipment and should be treated as such.Would also be worth speaking to the nurses here on Asthma U. They will be able to advise you what to say to and ask for from gp.

Sally21 profile image
Sally21 in reply to Bevvy

Hi Bevvy. Thank you for your reply. She's under the specialist but we arnt getting anywhere with them I feel like they just fob me off all the time and last time they tried telling it was post nasal drip. I phone the Dr or asthma nurse every other week and get nowhere with them. I get she's under 5 and they can't diagnose but she's been suffering for more than 2 years now. I was going to phone the Dr tomorrow to ask about the nebuliser. I wouldn't use it without asking them. I didn't know about them until the paramedic told me about them on our last visit to a&e. I think I will speak to them in the morning. Thank you.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to Sally21

Try speaking to Asthma uk tomorrow first. They may have advice on what to say.

Sally21 profile image
Sally21 in reply to Bevvy

Thank you x

I would echo phoning Asthma UK, making notes, then going back to GP. My son was in hospital age 3 1/2 out of nowhere, then we had six months of winter coughing like you mention (totally agree about mental health and sleep suffering), with numerous appointments at GP, but eventually got them to agree to "treat as" asthma even though he was too young to diagnose, which started to help

Hi Sally 21, I can relate and totally understand the mental pressure of having a child who is coughing and no sleep! Hang in there! Definitely worth talking to the asthma UK nurses.

Also, has your LG ever done a peak flow or had sats monitored? It's frustrating when they 'can't diagnose until 5' but if the evidence is there of lowered peak flow etc including good reversibility when using inhaler then is makes sense to treat as asthma until proved otherwise? I wouldn't advise the use of a nebuliser either without a doctor's aproval. A blue inhaler and spacer can be just as effective.

My LB spent most of last autumn and winter coughing and he almost started to use a preventer inhaler. This year, though he still occasionally coughs at night, he has been better. He was 5 in August.

I hope you find something that helps. Xx

Sally21 profile image
Sally21 in reply to ReedB

Hi Reedb thank you for your reply. No she's never been offered a peak flow, I thought they couldn't have them until they were 5? They have checked her stats at the Dr when I have taken her but typically she never coughs there so they don't see her at her worst. I recorded her to show the doctor a couple of weeks ago to show her how bad she gets and she said it was bad. Since the 20th September we have had 12 flare ups of non stop coughing which lasts up to a week each time. Thank you so much for your advice. xx

Hi Sally! From what you say it sounds as though the coughing occurs during the night. Allergies are often the cause of asthmatic responses. An air purifier might help, ensure there are no animals, feathers or dust in the bedroom - hard floors are advisable, Any textiles on the bed need to be washed weekly - duvets are preferable to blankets. A bath before bedtime would be relaxing and help to remove any irritants on the skin, use non allergenic soaps/gels, Don’t use air fresheners or candles in the house and certainly not in the bedroom. Try raising the bed head by propping up the legs/bed end with some blocks/bricks. Make sure that soft toys, clothes etc are kept dust free - if they are not washable, soft toys can be put in the freezer to kill off dust mites.

Try rubbing some Vicks inhaler on her neck and chest and make sure she has a daily dose of a suitable vitamin and mineral supplement - vitamins D and C will boost her immune system, zinc enables vitamin D to be absorbed and an iron containing supplement might help.

The house needs to be a no smoking zone and if there are furry animals in the house keep them out of the bedroom and make sure you vacuum clean every other day if not daily.

Possibly you have already dealt with all these points, if so, make sure your doctor is aware of the measures you’ve taken if the problem persists. Good luck.

Sally21 profile image
Sally21 in reply to Gwalltarian

Hi. Thank you for your reply. We have tried most of the things you have suggested. Her coughing is non stop through the day and night we don't smoke or have pets and I've started wet dusting ect. She has a little panda she's attached too and I've started putting him in the freezer. I've changed all her bedding too to hypoallergenic and we have a carbon Air purifier upstairs too. I give her vitamin tablets but will look at the vitamin c and d. Thank you so much for your advice!! X

Gwalltarian profile image
Gwalltarian in reply to Sally21

I had a mild viral infection in October affecting my eyes and immediately I also started coughing non stop - it was triggered by the virus and I continued coughing non stop for over 9 weeks. I had a chest infection - not covid - and used antibiotics to clear it, eventually a strong dose of an antibiotic killed the infection but I kept coughing - less but still annoying and still producing phlegm - clear or white instead of green. I started taking over 4000IU vitamin D and a daily zinc tablet - plus an iron supplement and within 2 days I stopped coughing. Is it possible to wash the panda?

Oh no poor you. Sounds like you have been through it. My LG had bronchitis when she was 5 months and has never been the same since. She's had antibiotics after antibiotics and had a long course of antibiotics too as a chest xray showed an infection. The Dr have given her antibiotics even without seeing her which I don't agree with. Yes we wash him regular as he goes everywhere. The poor thing hardly has any stuffing in him because he's been washed and cuddled that much xx

I would go back to the GP and push for an assessment again either with the GP's or Specialist. A blood test would be good my type of asthma was diagnosed this way my white blood cells etc. I have non allergic eosinophilic asthma. Ask for an allergy test too it might be allergic asthma dust mites you just don't know. I've also had this done and sods law I wasn't allergic to anything but you need to know what your dealing with. Again don't use a nebuliser without medical advice. Definitely go back push to see a GP and ask for a blood test and allergy test and if they won't do it ask to see a respiratory allergy specialist again. I spoke to the Surgery Manager or our GP Practice when my repeat prescriptions were not done and I needed inhalers push to see them sounds like this is urgent and you need proper medication to treat this.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It sounds awful and it must be so hard to see her like that and feel helpless and like the GP is fobbing you off. Keep talking to specialists til you feel like you're getting the care you need!

Have you done an in-depth look at possible irritants in your house? Cleaning frequently with a HEPA vacuum, running air purifiers, pouring vinegar in the shower and sink drains weekly to kill mold, putting her pillows and mattress in anti-allergy covers, and generally keeping things as dust and pet hair-free as possible are all great ways to reduce allergens. You may already be doing all of those things but just typing them out in case it's helpful-

Hi Sally, my child was like that at 4y, it started in autumn and ended in spring, I remember spending between 21.00 and 1.00 every night with the dry flares, very hard time. We used a nebuliser at the doctor recommendation, but it only improved with asthma classic medication, inhalers, child appropriate montelukast and even if I was afraid this will continue in the older years, it didn't. The results of the medication started to show after a month or so, we interrupted kindergarden for a while and I hired some help (back than there was no remote work). Warm and not to wet, not to dry helped, but the summer coming helped the most. We also consulted a naturopat and went in parallel with the treatment. We followed the medication by the book and I can tell you it was a heavy medication for a 4 year old, but it was also a dog hair allergy, but we had no dog... I wish you both a lot of health!

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