View Full Version : Asthma in toddlers
09-15-2003, 06:20 PM
Can anyone give me a few basics on Asthma? The doctor gave us a prescription for Albuterol yesterday because DD had a "wheeze" when she exhaled. The Dr. said that it is mild and that she expected we could stop using it soon (she was really vague on how soon "soon" was though).
Little history. DD, before we moved to Okinawa, was NEVER sick - no ear infections, one minor cold, nothing else. Since we moved here, nine months ago, she has gotten sick about four times. Everytime we take her to the Dr. He/She (we are in the military so it is usually a different doc. each time) tells us - yes, its a viral infection, there's nothing we can do. So when she had a mild fever, runny nose, and cough six weeks ago we called the Dr. - guess what he said? He told us that that it would probably last about 3 weeks. When she was still coughing at 4 weeks (but the other symptoms were long gone) he said it wasn't a problem. At 5 weeks they said, okay lets make an appointment but we had a typhoon (hurricane) and everything got shut down for three days. So I finally got to see the Dr. yesterday.
So what does this all mean? When I asked the Dr. if DD would have this problem everytime she had an infection she said probably. Is their some way of preventing this? If we had been seen earlier would it have made any difference? Any help would be appreciated.
BTW DH had asthma as a child and his nephews have it now.
Thanks so much!
Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)
twins r fun
09-15-2003, 10:01 PM
My son Caleb started treatment for asthma last year. He was born premature and had breathing difficulty at birth-was on a ventilator in the hospital and then came home on oxygen so we were aware there could be problems. He was fine through his first cold season and through half of the second, but then he got a really nasty virus (possibly RSV) and started wheezing. We had to use albuterol then and for the next few colds because he would wheeze. We finally got to a pulmonologist and she said he probably did have asthma and possibly that one virus had done some damage to his lungs. She put him on a daily steroid inhaler. The next cold and all the sunsequent ones have not resulted in any wheezing. We stopped using the medicine over the spring and summer (just our idea, not based on a doctor's reccomendation) but will use it again this winter. It seemed to work really well. In addition we are supposed to use albuterol when he gets a cold to prevent problems, but will probably decide on a cold by cold basis whether that is necessary. You may want to ask your doctor about a daily inhaler-I would think that may be a way for you to control her asthma and prevent the wheezing when she does get a cold. Caleb uses Flovent. I don't think it would have made any difference if she had been seen earlier, other than make it easier for her to breathe sooner-it's not like they could cure the virus. And I have the same problem with my doctor-looks at the kids for 30 seconds and says probably just a virus. It drives me crazy-I'd switch except she's really nice about giving us referals!
09-15-2003, 10:08 PM
Kasey was diagnosed with asthma and a dust mite allergy when she was 21 months-old. She had been showing symptoms since birth so we had a bad feeling this was coming. Asthma at this age is most likely triggered by infections - every time Kasey gets a cold, we are usually in full-fledged asthma mode by week 3 and it lasts another 1-3 weeks. Not fun and she is fairly miserable with it, coughing so hard that she ends up vomiting. Your doctor seems to be a little vague on info, though. Have they done any chest x-rays or allergy testing? I would think allergy testing would be helpful to you given that Noelle did not start getting sick until you moved to Okinawa. She could have environmental allergies that may be triggering the asthma symtoms. Kasey takes Singulair daily and takes albuterol and pulmicort by nebulizer when her asthma flares up. She also takes Zyrtec as needed for allergies and Delsym, an otc cough suppresant when the coughing is really bad. Are there any pulmonary/allergy/asthma specialists that you could take her to on Okinawa? I'll try to get so more technical information on asthma for you tomorrow but you may want to check out www.webmd.com and www.babycenter.com for more information on asthma. Feel free to e-mail me if you need more information or support. Good luck - I really hope Noelle is feeling better soon!
09-15-2003, 11:24 PM
They didn't do a chest x-ray and by military policy your child has to be a minimum of 2 years old before they'll do any allergy testing - so that's out for another six weeks. Should I request an x-ray or is that being overly paranoid? Noelle has done the coughing till she throws up thing twice before, but when I called the Dr. (in near panic as she had never thrown up before) he said that it was pretty common for children to do that.
I'm just trying to balance between being proactive and being over-protective!
Thanks so much for your replies. I'm going to go check out both those websites now!
Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)
09-16-2003, 10:51 AM
Just wanted to add that DS has been on a daily inhaled steroid (Pulmicort) since he was about 5-6 months old. The wheezing and (what I like to call) percolating started when he was about 4 months old, and he was diagnosed with "probable" asthma. We also went to a pediactric pulminologist, and she confirmed that it was most likely asthma.
Since starting with the Pulmicort, he is still wheezy just running around (I think some people are just prone), but it has been MUCH better with the colds. The last cold he got (and he averaging one every few weeks before Pulmicort), he did not gurgle at all, and I didn't feel the need to rush him to the ER. With the warmer weather we haven't really had to face anything.
We also have albuterol to use (with the Pulmicort) when and if he seems to get into really bad shape.
09-16-2003, 10:56 AM
DD has eczema, alllergies and to a lesser degree, asthma. Children whose parents have any of the the three listed above have a greater likelihood of also having one or more of the conditions. DH and I both had childhood asthma and allergies, but so far it seems like DD was the one to get it all. DS may have a bit of lactose intolerance, but that is not really related to this.
As for DD's asthma, she has had exactly ONE asthma episode which resulted in severe wheezing that was caused by a nasty viral infection in January. Her allergist doesn't want to diagnose her as asthmatic(and put her on a lengthy course of meds) unless she has another episode. For the one episode, she was given albuterol and we followed up with more breathing treatments at home for then next week. Asthma can be caused by any number of factors that irritate the lungs. In our case, we watch DD carefully when she is sick and when her allergies get out of control.
DD was seen by her allergist (who treats her for all 3 conditions) at age 4 months because she presented with a severe case of hand eczema and mild eczema over the rest of her body. She was scratch tested and is allergic to dairy, eggs, oranges, cats, dogs, and horses. She is on meds for allergies and the eczema. If she does not take her meds, she is one itchy unhappy toddler! :(
Allergies, eczema, and asthma are all conditions that are treatable, but not curable. Her condition may go dormant or even be outgrown with good day to day management. It is very important for you to find a doc that you feel comfortable with(and try to see them everytime) so that your DD has good continuation of care. Our ped is great for the longterm, but he also realizes my DD's need for specialized care.
I would ask for her to be allergy tested as there might be allergens on the base that she was never exposed to back home. FWIW - We have had good results with Zyrtec and Singulair(chewable asthma med for ages 2-5 that helps with allergies, too). HTH!
mom 2 katie (33 months)
& Jack (16 months)
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