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Can you give me a 'Your Child Has Asthma 101'?

(17 Posts)
BlueAndBrown Fri 28-Oct-11 10:35:23

My 16 mo is being treated for asthma, though they said they can't diagnose until she is older.

She has had three hospital stays in the last three months and is now on the brown Clenil Modulite twice a day and the blue salbutamol every two hours for the time being. She really hates it sad

So, being new to having a child with asthma (or asthma-like-condition as they call it until its diagnosed) is there anything that I should know?

Is there a foolproof mummy method of getting a wiggling, angry baby to have their inhaler?
Are there things to avoid? House too cold, house too warm and things like that
Should I be giving infant vitamins to try to stave off the inevitable winter bugs that kick off an attack?

belledechocchipcookie Fri 28-Oct-11 14:33:38

Hi smile They are reluctant to do anything at this age and will scream their heads of regardless. Have you tried turning it into a game? This can sometimes help, maybe put some stickers on the outside of the spacer and pretend it's a rocket?

It's best to keep the house warm. My son has asthma, the cold weather really makes him wheeze, as does a cold. Going outside can be a problem, it's OK to give her the inhaler before you leave the house if the weather's cold. Dust can also aggrivate it.

Sirzy Fri 28-Oct-11 15:59:00

What spacer does she have? Ds was much better when we got him a smaller one.

He has been on inhalers since he was 8 months, he is 2 in 2 weeks and now it's second nature to him!

Let her play with the spacer. Our mickey mouse teddy regular has to have his "hala" and he gives it to mummy to. Just try to make it into something fun for her.

I find one arm over the forehead and positioned to hold the inhaler and then the other arm over his chest holding the mask on works if needed, but given time it will get easier!

DD is now much older than your little one but we have been dealing with her asthma for 20+ years.

1. Cold air sets her off, as does a rapid warm to cold transition. Ice cream/milkshakes set her off if she's having battles with it. Don't avoid clod air but do prepare for it, we've always encouraged DD to pull a scarf up around her face if possible.
2. Freeze all cuddly toys frequently and for at least 48 hours.
3. Damp dust everything you can.
4. We ripped up all carpets and replaced with wooden flooring, it's helped her tremendously.
5. ditto curtains have now all been replaced with blinds.
6. When I hoover her room I do it as early as possible to allow everything to settle.
7. All of DD's bedding is wrapped in anti allergen covers.

Most importantly though, don't let it rule your life. We always encouraged DD to take part in sports/brass instruments because they encourage children to make full use of their lungs. Most people only use the top third of their lung capacity, if you're asthmatic the more lung capacity you can get the better. DD's consultant says she's be a much poorly kid if she didn't swim and run like she does (she's a swimmer and triathlete). Despite the fact she's been in and out of hospital this year she is taking part in next year's London marathon to raise money for Help the Hospices.

Abra1d Fri 28-Oct-11 16:17:39

Agree about sport and brass instruments. My two did cross-country and my daughter plays the trumpet.

BlueAndBrown Fri 28-Oct-11 21:04:25

Sirzy She has a big one called Volumatic, can I ask for another one? Is it a smaller one for children?

Hellhas Thanks so much for the tips, its good to hear from someone so experienced!

Abra1d Once she learns to walk I'll get her running about, though might be a while before she can do cross-country grin

We had a talk from asthma nurses at work a few eeks ago. They said the Volumatic had gone out with the ark, it is not agood way of getting a decent dose into small children (or anyone for that matter. DD still uses a spacer and she's 21). Ask for an Aerochamber, it's a much small device and much better for ensuring your DD gets what she's meant to be getting.

KatyMac Fri 28-Oct-11 21:09:39

Exercise is great
Milk can cause thickening mucus
Don't dust - wipe with a damp cloth
& if your house has that black mould; spend your entire life getting rid of it

Asthma UK is a great website with some really knowledgeable people and access to helplines etc. (Hope that the link is ok MN Towers?)

Sirzy Fri 28-Oct-11 21:12:17

DS has an areochamber which I find much better, alslo much hander for out and about. We can't go out without the inhaler but taking the volumatic meant we had to take a much bigger bag.

Is she is anything like DS when she is walking you won't be able to stop her running about, I often have to try to force DS to sit down because he is so breathless!

I find babywipes great for getting up all the dust!

BlueAndBrown Fri 28-Oct-11 21:34:58

Right, I'll see if we can get an Aerochamber then, we are back at the docs again on Monday, maybe he can prescribe one?

Thankfully no mould here, but we'll make sure I deal with it very swiftly if ever I see any, thanks for the tip.

I do damp dust anyway, but maybe I should do it more often. I guess I need to hoover really frequently too, especially in their bedroom. Would getting the carpets cleaned help at all?

She is still in a cot with a baby sleeping bag but I'll see if I can find a anti allergen cover for her mattress - is that to kill dust mites or something?

I can freeze her teddies, I'll do that this weekend. I wash them regularly and we have a few spares of her favourite (she thinks we just have one!) so one can go in the freezer whilst the other is being cuddled. What does the freezer do?

Freezing is much, much better at killing dust mite.

BlueAndBrown Fri 28-Oct-11 22:00:46

I guess I need to wash the teddies, esp the favourite one, to get the dribble and snot off and then once dry, freeze for 48hrs. Then they will be clean and dust mite free. I would never have thought about putting then in the freezer, gotta love the MN top tips!

Off to bed now, will check back tomorrow for any other tips. Thanks all for the advice.

Sidge Fri 28-Oct-11 22:02:29

A Volumatic is better than the Aerochamber for littlies as they get better deposition, but an Aerochamber is better than no spacer at all.

You can give the Clenil when she's asleep if able, that minimises the stress for her. Otherwise the easiest method is to give her the inhalers from behind - so you're sitting behind her cuddling her and can hold the mask against her face more effectively. If she's screaming and crying she won't get much at all of the medication so try and get her used to it when she's calm - ler her play with the spacer (not the actual inhaler), let Teddy have it on his face etc. Let her put stickers all over the spacer and maybe give it whilst she's watching a favourite DVD.

It can be worth using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, and avoiding pets and smoky atmospheres.

Abra1d Fri 28-Oct-11 22:34:45

There's a school of thought that says that carpets are better than wooden floors because they act as a filter, holding down the dust at ground level. With wooden floors, the dust is freer to float upwards, which is where you don't want it. For this reason we have retained carpet in the children's rooms, but try and steam clean it regularly (being careful not to leave it wet, which encourages dust mites).

The other thing I do is hang out duvets and pillows whenever conditions are good: sunny or a nice dry breeze or a cold frost. The mites don't like this kind of thing.

BlueAndBrown Sat 29-Oct-11 12:03:14

We've ended up back at the out of hours doc this morning after an awful night (again...) and the doc asked which spacer she had and told us to try the Aerochamber because it is smaller DD might find it less intimidating. We tried it but she hated it just as much as the Volumatic, but now we have both. I'd forgotten about Aerochamber being mentioned on here but she brought it up right away.

Once she is better I will let her start playing with them a little, put some stickers on and things and see which she prefers.

I'll check if my hoover has a HEPA filter, I'm not sure if it does or not. Thankfully, we don't have any pets and we don't have any family/friends that smoke so we don't have those things to worry about.

We are a mix of wood floors and carpet downstairs and all upstairs is carpeted, not really in a position to change that though so I'll just try to keep it all as clean as possible.

What about cleaning products? Fabric softeners? Do things like that make any difference?

happygardening Sat 29-Oct-11 16:08:43

My DS when a baby never accepted his steroid inhaler and we were not getting his asthma under control. Eventually the hospital gave us a nebilizer and he inhaled the steroid that way. He found this more acceptable we used to read a book at the same time. But much more expensive and you require a nebulizer more expense so this is one reasons why many hospitals are reluctant to give you one. We've also found using a Aerochamber did not give as good as control as using a Volumatic and still find this DS is now 13.

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