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Old 09-05-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Toddlers With Asthma

My son, who is 16 months, just got diagnosed with asthma yesterday. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with all the breathing treatments and medication he needs. Any moms out there have/had a toddler with asthma? Any words of wisdom or advice?

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: Toddlers With Asthma

My son was diagnosed at 15 months but ended up having reflux induced airway disease and is now on no meds. We were on 4 times a day treatments and at least 2 oral meds for over a year, lots of times in the hospital.

Get a comfy mask, not the kind the hospital gave you. Ours was a cute fish. Use a mask instead of a blow by, you lose a lot of the medicine with a blow by. Tap and swirl the treatment at the end to get all the medicine. If you are giving xopenex or albuterol give it before any other medicine (those open up the lungs so the steroid medicine can get further down).

We had special movies for treatment time and I tried to sit with ds the whole time. It was tricky. ds2 was 1 week old the first time ds1 was hospitalized/diagnosed so I had a needy newborn. It was actually a special time for us.

Price check meds, unless you pay a set price. I saved about $300 a month by calling around.

Get good at lung sounds. If you put your ear to someone's back that is a lot like a decent stethoscope. Practice listening to ds and to your dh so you will know better when you hear wheezing.

I think that is all I can remember for now. Hang in there!
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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Re: Toddlers With Asthma

My son was diagnosed at 15 months but ended up having reflux induced airway disease and is now on no meds. We were on 4 times a day treatments and at least 2 oral meds for over a year, lots of times in the hospital.

Get a comfy mask, not the kind the hospital gave you. Ours was a cute fish. Use a mask instead of a blow by, you lose a lot of the medicine with a blow by. Tap and swirl the treatment at the end to get all the medicine. If you are giving xopenex or albuterol give it before any other medicine (those open up the lungs so the steroid medicine can get further down).

We had special movies for treatment time and I tried to sit with ds the whole time. It was tricky. ds2 was 1 week old the first time ds1 was hospitalized/diagnosed so I had a needy newborn. It was actually a special time for us.

Price check meds, unless you pay a set price. I saved about $300 a month by calling around.

Get good at lung sounds. If you put your ear to someone's back that is a lot like a decent stethoscope. Practice listening to ds and to your dh so you will know better when you hear wheezing.

I think that is all I can remember for now. Hang in there!
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Toddlers With Asthma

Hugs mama!

My little one was diagnosed with asthma at 12 months (now 20 months). It was distressing and overwhelming at first, and can still be when he has an attack in an unexpected place. But he is a happy, healthy, and active kid, so we have determined that it is something that we calmly manage when needed and not to stress the rest of the time.

We have learned to throw his nebulizer in with the rest of the baby gear if going more than a few miles from the house. That is not such a big deal, as the nebulizer we have has a carry case and a car power adapter. Having it around just becomes routine. (I do look forward to when he is old enough for an inhaler.)

Little one is now calm and patient while using the nebulizer. He understands how much better it makes him feel. We use the treatment time as a time to cuddle and read a book or some such.

The research I have read indicates that unmanaged asthma causes an "imprint" on the lungs which has the potential to ensure long term breathing issues. Actively and aggressively treating asthma has the potential of preserving the integrity of the lungs, and hopefully contribute to a child "outgrowing" asthma. So, the best advice is to stay on top of it.

Honestly, if I really allow myself to think about it, I am very distressed that my little one has to go through this. But, he will catch on to whatever I am feeling, so instead I have to believe that well managed asthma will not interfere with my little one's health, happiness, and development. Carefully managing it now will give him the best chance for improvement of symptoms in the future.

Go for it, mama!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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Re: Toddlers With Asthma

My son was diagnosed about 15 months with cough variant asthma. He doesn't have the traditional wheeze.

It gets better! We started on albuterol 4 times a day, flonase, and pulmicort twice, plus a round of steroids--three days before we had a 15 hour drive to Minnesota for my brothers wedding DH and DD were in. OMG!!! Being stuck in the car with him on prednisone and having to stop every 4 hours to find a place to do a neb treatment was AWFUL!

But it gets easier. Now, at 3.5, DS is down to pulmicort once a day (twice when he gets bad) and albuterol maybe once a week if he gets coughing in the middle of the night. I have a big HEPA air purifier near his bed, and we change the filters frequently. We also are good about changing our furnace filter, and buy better ones to get the crud out of the air. We try not to open the windows much, and run the AC in the summer to keep the pollen out.

Just watch for the very beginnings of a cold, be aggressive about treatments, and you will learn to keep everything under control in a few months.

My pulminologist had advice for me when I was reluctant to pump him full of meds... You can't undo lung damage. Meds now are what are going to keep his lungs healthy for years down the line. Don't skimp on them. It is better to have been too aggressive and keep the damage from forming, than it is to be wishing you had been more aggressive later.

When he is older, I would push for at the minimum blood allergy testing to see if that is a contributing factor. They wouldn't do it on DS til he was 2. We found out that he is allergic to everything under the sun at a 1 or 2 level, but really allergic to soy when they finally did the testing. Eliminating soy from his diet has helped the mucous formation, which has really helped us control his asthma.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: Toddlers With Asthma

We are close to this dx with one of our LO's so Im glad this was posted.

Thanks ladies!!
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
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I agree with what everyone posted. I have 5 LOs with an asthma/RAD diagnosis. My son is the worst. He spent from 6months to 7 years on inhaled steriods, nasal steriods, zyrtec, oral steriods, albuterol and singulair. Now at 8.5 he has been steriod and oral/nasal med free. He only needs an inhaler 1-2 times a month and a little more often during cold/flu season. We had to ard singulair back in last fall but are hoping for this fall to be better.

My others take zyrtec, singulair and nebs/albuterol as needed. One takes pulmicort through the fall/winter.

It can be outgrown (for some kids) but medicating now and finding what works is best to stop damage.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:54 AM   #8
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Re: Toddlers With Asthma

Wow! Thanks so much everyone! You have no idea how much that helps to know others have been through this and also to know how important it is to stay on top of everything! Thank you all for your advice!
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