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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Can I ask parents of children with asthma to help me please?

(24 Posts)
CoffeeQueen187 Wed 27-Nov-13 07:58:40

DS1 (7yo) has asthma. In the winter he really struggles with it. We end up having countless trips to the doctors for steroids and antibiotics and at least once a year he ends up in hospital via ambulance with an asthma attack.

Last night he was up all night coughing and wheezing. I'm keeping him off school today and taking him to the doctors.

How can I help him to not suffer like this in the first place? I don't have any pets, I try and keep the house warm as much as I can afford. I keep him wrapped up when we go out. Yet he still suffers terribly with it sad

I don't know what else I can do. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions?

colditz Wed 27-Nov-13 08:02:35

Sounds like he needs his medication reassessing. What inhalers in he on?

DrownedGirl Wed 27-Nov-13 08:05:56

Has he been offered montelukast?

Since my dd has been on this she has only had to go to a and e once, before that it was several times a year

Apparently it works for some children and not for others. But worth a try?

DrownedGirl Wed 27-Nov-13 08:06:09

CoffeeQueen187 Wed 27-Nov-13 08:09:20

Yeh he's had montelukast before, he's not on it now though.

He has 2 puffs of clenil 100mcg morning and night, and ventolin 100mcg as and when he needs it.

He had an asthma review and flu jab 2 weeks ago and the nurse said everything was fine sad

BaileysOnRocks Wed 27-Nov-13 08:31:59

My children don't have asthma but I have it myself. I was on clenil but this has been upped to a dual inhaler that gives both salbutamol and steriod so this could be an option.

Also does he use a spacer? An inhaler only delivers 11% on it own but more than 20% with a spacer. (Nurse told me this)

If I have an attack I also panic so they kind of cross over. Sit your son by the window and if he's old enough give him a cup of tea as caffeine helps. And water.

Hope that helps!

Sirzy Wed 27-Nov-13 08:47:35

If you dont think the asthma nurse is helping control it then ask for a refferal to a consultant.

Clenil didn't work for DS (4) he is currently on seretide 125, montelukast and a daily antihistamine and although he is still isn't controlled he is much better than he was on clenil.

I agree with the importance of the spacer, and also making sure that the technique is right.

CoffeeQueen187 Wed 27-Nov-13 09:43:28

Thanks for your replies.

He uses a spacer to take his inhalers. I'm going to ask the doctor today about trying a different inhaler and maybe put him back on the montelukast. He seems to suffer more at night than any other time. He woke up last night crying and struggling to breathe sad I got his inhalers and sat him up etc but it took about 30-45 mins before it had any effect.

Sirzy Wed 27-Nov-13 09:44:55

Have you tried damp dusting his bedroom, removing soft toys and things just to reduce the allergens in his bedroom incase thats making him worse?

CoffeeQueen187 Wed 27-Nov-13 09:48:50

He doesn't tend to have toys in his room as he's smashed them all up (he has SEN aswell).

Sorry if this makes me sound thick, but what's damp dusting?

ophiotaurus Wed 27-Nov-13 09:59:12

Take a damp cloth and wipe all surfaces down instead of a dry duster.

popsnsqeeze Wed 27-Nov-13 10:03:16

I'm asthmatic, gets worse at nights too. I find that Vicks vapour rub on my chest and night helps me. It's cheap, so it could be worth a try?
Also, when I was younger I used to get panicked when I had an attack. My mum used to call the fear a "hedgehog in your throat" and we would make up stories to make it go away. I don't know if it helped, but I remember it making me feel more in control.

Beachcomber Wed 27-Nov-13 10:09:49

Do you know if he has any food allergies?

Cow's milk allergy/intolerance is common in asthma/eczema sufferers. My DD has practically no asthma if she keeps off dairy products but would be like your son if she consumed them.

Doesn't work for everyone but worth a try if you haven't already. Best wishes and good luck. Asthma is so horrible.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 27-Nov-13 10:15:46

My son has asthma and SEN. He used to have several hospital admissions very year, but we have reduced these drastically.
The single biggest thing that has made a difference is swapping the carpet in his room for vinyl flooring. If you really want a carpet then make sure it is not a woollen carpet as these hold more dust and make sure the pile is very short.
You need to vacuum the whole house daily and damp dust a few times a week to keep the dust levels down. Wash the curtains in his bedroom regularly and wash the bedding at a minimum of 60 degrees at least twice a week. Get dust protection covers for the duvet and pillows and wash them at 60 degrees regularly. Get an anti dust mite mattress cover too.
Don't keep soft toys in the bedroom or freeze them once a week to kill dust mites if you insist on having them.
All of those things should help.

NoComet Wed 27-Nov-13 10:25:41

Dairy is worth a try, I had a DF who said he was guaranteed to feel wheezy, if he put milk on his cereal or had pizza for tea.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 27-Nov-13 10:55:54

Other things that help are boosting the immune system by making sure your child has plenty of fruit and veg (vitamin c especially). A healthy immune system will help reduce the impact that a cold has and reduce any chest infection symptoms and aid quick recovery.
Too much/ too little moisture in the house can also exacerbate asthma symptoms. So if you have a damp house you might benefit from a dehumidifier. If you have a very dry house you might benefit from a humidifier. Getting the correct air moisture balance is tricky, but very important, however, getting it wrong can really exacerbate symptoms.
As others have pointed out food allergies can also impact on asthma symptoms, but if it is coughs and colds that trigger asthma symptoms then I would concentrate on boosting the immune system.
My child does have food allergies as well as asthma, but the symptoms of food allergens are almost instant and relieved by antihistamine medication, whereas the symptoms from coughs and colds are more consistent with asthma problems and cannot be alleviated easily.

CoffeeQueen187 Wed 27-Nov-13 12:04:33

Thanks for all this advice. I'll definately try some of these suggestions.

The only food allergy he has that I know of is fish. He comes out in gives and his throat swells up.

We've just been to the doctors and they prescribed prednisalone and given him a new inhaler to take with his other 2 inhalers. This ones a green one called salmeterol. We've to go back in a week for a check up

CoffeeQueen187 Wed 27-Nov-13 12:06:38

You'd think I'd know all this stuff about asthma by now, DS was diagnosed 4 years ago. I seem to be learning something new about it almost every week.

colditz Wed 27-Nov-13 17:20:19

Eggs can cause asthma like flare ups ....

MissLivvy Wed 27-Nov-13 22:10:50

Sorry to hear your DS is suffering. Don't know if you're near London but I would suggest a referral to Royal Brompton hospital. My DS is treated there for his asthma and if one's asthma is not being very well controlled, a referral to a specialist centre is a necessity. Although we have a wonderful GP, locally, there is often not the depth of knowledge or familiarity with latest cutting edge developments that one finds in a centre of excellence. I wish you well.

ilovesmarties Thu 28-Nov-13 09:17:46

Hi Coffee

Sorry to hear about your son and your struggles. My son is 2 and we've had countless trips to A&E and numerous hospital admissions. When he was 14 months I insisted that he gets a referral. We were sent to a consultant specialising in paediatric respiratory medicine (Oxford) and things are slowly getting better. They did a complete review of his medicine and since 20 months he is on 2 puffs clenin 100mcg in the morning and the same dose at night. He also takes montelukast at night as well as 6 puffs blue inhaler every single night. All inhalers via spacer. He does suffer from quite severe asthma for his age. On recommendation of consultant we replace his pillows every 8 weeks (cheap asda ones and not anti allergen singing dancing ones!), wash bedding and cuddly toys on 90 degrees once a week and hoover every day, and damp dusting. As soon as spot the slightest hint of cold we make him sleep upright, flush his sinusses with saline and rub his chest and back with vicks. We also have a course of prednisolene on reserve at home to administer when needed. This has saved us numerous trips to A&E. Good luck x

Norudeshitrequired Thu 28-Nov-13 09:57:40

Ilovesmarties - instead of replacing the pillows every 8 weeks would you not be better getting anti dust mite protection covers for the existing pillows and boil washing them every week?
You can get similar covers for the duvet and mattress too.

wewillmendit Thu 28-Nov-13 22:22:03

Hi Coffee. DD has asthma, she is on seretide and this has made a huge difference to her.
Also, first sign of a cold I give her boots childs cold defence, it is a nasal spray that is meant to contain the cold bugs. I don't have the radiator on in her bedroom too much, just enough so she isn't breathing in too cold air.
She only has a summer weight duvet on her bed, and I add a blanket when the heating goes off as she gets far too warm if she is coughing.

I think it is trial and error re what works, some people as mentioned up thread find Vicks and dehumidifiers effective, DD cannot tolerate either.
I hope you get some answers from the GP, and hope your DS has a better night.

wewillmendit Thu 28-Nov-13 22:24:41

Oops sorry, just read your update. Hope you all have a better night smile

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