Help with Taking Asthma Meds..

Updated on April 13, 2008
B.R. asks from Fort Riley, KS
38 answers

Hello my 3 year old son was just diagnosed with Asthma. I am suppose to give him albuterol through a chamber when needed. My problem is he will not put the chamber to his face. I usually have to hold him down kicking and screaming. I have tried bribes and rewards if he did it with out any fuss but nothing has worked. Can you give me advise on how to make him cofortable with the chamber and albuterol so I don't have to force him to take it.

I also wanted to ask if you could advise on potty training. My son will do a no.1 but will not do no.2. I can put him on the potty for 10-15 minutes around the time I know he usually does his business but he will just sit there. As soon as I let him down he will go in his underware. I have tried the rewards and stickers but that dosen't help.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.J.

answers from Wichita on

I so understand what you are going through. My 6 year old was diagnosed with asthma when he was 1 and I went throug the same thing. Try this, it worked with Alex, it is not the most effective thing, but it does work. Do a blow by. I did it with Alex all the time. You can use the mask or the tube that they use for older kids that understand to suck on it. Just hold the mask/tube close to his face and let the albuterol blow past his nose/mouth. I used to do this with Alex while we read a book or watched his favorite movie or even while he was sleeping. Anything that distracted him from the actual treatment. I know the docs prefer that you hold the mask tightly against thier face, but the way my doc explained it to me was if he is fighting and screaming, it could make the attack worse. It was a huge struggle to begin with, but now when Alex needs one, he fusses a little bit, but does what he needs to. by the time he was 3 or 4 I could set the machine up and walk away and he would do the treatment through the tube without me having to worry if he was really doing it. It will get better, I promise. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I have a friend whose daughter needs the albuterol mask once a day and she painted it to look like an elephant. It's pretty cute and we all pretend to be elephants when it's on.

Don't know about the potty issue yet, my son is only 5m.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I have sat and sung songs or played games to help make it more fun. Both children have enjoyed the one on one time with mom or dad.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.H.

answers from St. Louis on

First, the asthma meds...my now 8 year old had to take the same thingwhen he was under 2 and HATED it. The doctor told me that the goal is to get him the medicine...not make him happy. If he screams while the chamber is over his mouth he'll get the medicine. I had to lay my son down with his head between my legs as I sat on the floor and pin his hands under my knees with his feet straight out with mine. This kept his head still and his hands out of the way. I know it sounds like torture but it did make the unpleasant task go much smoother and quicker.

Second, the potty training...I have found an excellent way to get kids to go poop on the potty. It's awesome! Do what you're doing by sitting him on the potty when he usually goes but give him a blow toy. A balloon to try to blow up, a party horn(with or without the squeaker)...something that he has to blow with some force. The muscles he will use to blow the toy will force him to use the same muscles he would use to poop and in the same exact way and he won't even realize it. I am a preschool teacher and have had to deal with some pretty serious pooping issues(did you know they actually have a Psychiatrist just for this issue...I swear!) and this worked with the worst of them. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Denver on

Dear B.,

My response is for your little boy with asthma. My sister has a boy who has had asthma basically all of his life. He had to have nebulizer (spelling?) treatments where she had to hold a mask over his face. I remember when he was little and had to have a treatment, she would lay him on a blanket with his hands to his side and his face off of the blanket and roll him up. Yes, he hated it and protested with kicking and crying, but once he was rolled up, she could give him the treatment. She always rocked him and sang to him during the treatment and it did not take long for him to calm down. If your son does continue to cry, that is okay, too. He really has to open his lungs to cry and the medicine will go deeper. It is important for him to know that the medicine will help his lungs feel better and that you love him enough to give it to him. It is also important for him to know that you do have have the choice to not give him the medicine and he does not have the choice to not take it. My nephew was younger than three when he started his treatments and I'm not sure how long my sister had to roll him up, but later getting treatments became a part of the day that he enjoyed because he got good cuddle time with his mom.

Also, I noticed that you said the doctor said to give the albuterol to him as needed. Are you noticing that there is a pattern as to when he needs it? If so, it would be helpful if you gave him the medicine at the same time every day so that it becomes routine. This will help him come to see it as just a normal part of his day instead of some mean thing mommy does at unpredictable times. Talk to your doctor and see if regularly scheduled treatments would be okay.

I just read over your question again and I'm wondering if your son is on a nebulizer like my nephew was on, which takes several minutes to administer, or if he is taking an inhaler with a spacing chamber. At three years old, an inhaler with a spacing chamber would be difficult for him to take effectively even if he was not upset. If an inhaler is what he has, go back to the doctor and get a nebulizer. I would not advise switching to liquid albuterol, which is easier to administer, but harder on his little body.

A little about me: I have had asthma all of my life and have been treated by the best asthma doctors at National Jewish Hospital in Denver. I have a boy, age five, who is also showing signs of having asthma. It runs in my family.

I hope this helps. I will be praying for you and your boys.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.W.

answers from Kansas City on

B., I, too, have a 3 year old just diagnosed with Asthma. You need to pursue the nebulizer unless, of course, there is a medical reason that your son can't use the treatment in that procedure. Our doctor "prescribed" (we keep it) a nebulizer that we have to use nightly. we also have a training chamber with no medication that whistles when the suck action is done correctly. My 3 year old who, trust me, has PERFECT lung abiility and blows and sucks the paint off of his brother's recorder, CANNOT activate the chamber whistle. This causes me concern for your son because when he needs the albutoral he NEEDS to get it effectively.
Using the nebulizer was a struggle at first because it's intimidating. Ours came with fish stickers he could apply to create ownership. We constantly told him (still do) that he is the best nebulizer EVER and now he is proud to use it and "get to" turn it on and off.

Feel free to contact me and we can exchange numbers if you want, since I can also relate to the pooping issue and am proud to say that we finally overcame that challenge as well!

I'm new here, but I'm sure there's a way to contact members? If not, e-mail me if you'd like at [email protected]____.com

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Most of these responses are talking about the nebulizer which I don't think you are using. I too had to start out with that chamber thing and it is difficult. Inhalers taste nasty and that is one reason they don't want to use them at a young age. I don't know why your doctor isn't prescribing a nebulizer to begin with as it works a lot better in smaller kids and doesn't taste nasty to use.

I would definately talk to your doctor about this thing with the medicine. Ask if you can get a nebulizer. Our doctors wouldn't give us one and my son has had breathing problems since he was 3 months old. Instead I had to take him to the doctor twice a week for a 15 min nebulizer treatment. When we moved to another state and his asthma was worse I finally got a nebulizer and it is wonderful. My son never had a problem using his inhaler though and we had this mask attachment thing for the inhaler. you would press the inhaler into the chamber and he would breath it in whenever he put it up to his mouth and as he inhaled to breath the medicine would go in his mouth. It took a while to teach him to hold his breath to hold it in for 10 seconds but at least he was getting the medicine. If you get a nebulizer it is so much easier and most kids don't mind it. I don't make my kids use the mask as that is intimidating. We have the attachment that just has a plastic tube sticking out and the doctor encouraged us to just let the baby chew on that tube and as he was chewing on the tube he was breathing in the medicine. Now that they are older they just hold the tube in front of their face and breathe it in. It is easier to clean as I just put it in the dishwasher and since my 3 kids share the nebulizer I didn't want them using the mask as it seemed harder to clean. The nebulizer works a lot better than inhalers and is just a mist that has albuterol in it that they breathe as they are normally breathing. I still use it when my kids start their seasonal coughing in the fall and spring which those 2 seasons seem to trigger their asthma more. After a week on the nebulizer they are usually back to normal and won't need to use it again for awhile. The inhalers are good to have when you need a fast treatment or are out somewhere. If he isn't inhaling the inhaler then he isn't getting much to help him out with his breathing. They can watch tv while they are using the nebulizer and I know a lot of kids that use the nebulizer and don't seem to have problems with getting them to use it. My niece started using a nebulizer when she was 4 and she got the mask but it looks like a fish and she loves it but other kids don't like the masks so see about using the tube attachment and as your child gets older and used to the machine then he may want to get a fun looking mask to use. You may have to pay something for the nebulizer and don't do the rental thing as our doctor wrote out our prescription wrong and ended up with a rental and didn't realize it until we got the bill after 5 months and was over 100.00 for the rental and our kids only needed it for 3 weeks. We didn't know it was being rented or we would have returned it when they were over the coughing and got it again later. When we got through with all the insurance and doctor they did have to pay the rental fees and we got the doctor to write out the prescription to purchase one and our insurance company paid all but 30.00 of it. I think the machine cost over 300.00 but most insurance companies pay most of it. It is worth the money and you may even find a used one on ebay or craigs list and buy new tubes for it if your insurance doesn't cover the cost but you would still have to get the doctor to prescribe the meds for it to use it.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I had to give my son an albuterol inhaler at that age. He was also afraid. Begging, threats, rationalizing only made him more fearful.

What worked for me was playing "space air." We would prepare ourselves as astronauts, sit on the sofa and pretend to go into outer space (blasting off "5...4...3...2...1", landing, etc.) but he couldn't get off the sofa to explore the planet we landed on until he prepared himself with the special air of that planet (because otherwise he couldn't breathe "out there"!) You might even hide a little surprise on the planet for him to find the first couple of times, if he needs an additional incentive.

Once my son accomplished this, I had him breathe space air (use his inhaler) for the grandparents, dad, etc. to show off his new talent. Of course, everyone told him how cool he was :-)

Regarding potty training, after months of trying different methods, the only thing that worked for me was giving up! I said, "Here are your pull ups. Here are the wipes. Here's the toilet. It is your choice." He quickly tired of cleaning himself up and was potty trained for good within a week.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi! I don't know if this well help on your first issue...but, you could try letting him "decorate" the outside of the chamber with a sticker each time he uses it correctly. I know you said you have tried bribes & rewards but maybe this might be one that he will go for. You could also let him practice using it without the actual inhaler attached and explain that it is just like putting a (big) straw in his mouth. My son is 9 and also has asthma and we explained that the chamber reminded us of a big rocket and that you put it in your mouth like a big straw. He has done great with it! But, I know what medicines struggles are like. My daughter - when she was little about 2 or 3 - you had to hold her down kicking and screaming to get her to take ANY medicine. It was NO fun so I sympathize with you totally. I hope you find something that works.

As far as the potty issue...hmmmm. I do remember going through that with my niece who is now 4. (This might sound mean BUT) I made her clean herself up and threw away her favorite princess/sesame street underwear. She would get mad but after a few times of that and me explaining that she would have to go back to wearing diapers she got the message and began pooing in the toilet in which she earned a new barbie! :) I never yelled at her. Just went in there with wipes and supervised her cleaning herself up. You could try that and see where you get. If that doesn't work you might try talking with his pediatrician for ideas or if you have a parents as teachers contact they might also have ideas for you! Also, the library has some good books on that sort of thing that is geared for kids.
Good luck B.! This too shall pass! :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from St. Louis on

B., with the asthma meds, they have masks and a machine that you can get that'll pump the medicine in as they breath, the masks tend to come with some neat characters that he could chose from. I know my son didn't get started on the chamber until he was 8. Ask your doctor about the masks and the machine. Children tend to like these better, because they can wear them while watching t.v. and doing things still and they don't seem as scary.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi B.,

I have 3 small children 2, 4, and 7. They all have (or as I now would say had) asthma. We used to fight with the meds and breathing treatments all the time. Especially around cold season and in the summer when they wanted to run around and play.
About 1 year ago my family was introduced to an alternative to medications... we were introduced to MonaVie. Since we have been taking this product, we have not had to use any of our asthma or allergy medications. It has been an incredible addition to the "wellness plan" for our family.

Long story short, Monavie is a juice blend of 19 of the worlds most nutritious and healthy fruits. The main ingredient is the Acai berry which is known as the worlds #1 Superfood. This blend has one of the highest levels of all natural antioxidants and phytonutrients on the market today. Because of this, it is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Asthma is simply inflammation of the airways, so this is why it works. The more full spectrum of antioxidants in - the less inflammation in the body.

I do not like giving my children medication, so when I found this, I was soo excited. I know that I am giving my kids the best all natural product out there and it really has had some amazing results. The best part is that it is just fruits! nothing else added... just pure nutrition.

If you would like more info, check out my website www.mymonavie.com/ajscoggin or please give me a call ###-###-#### or shoot me an email and I would love to share more information.

Although I am a distributor (mainly for $ savings), I am not trying to sell this product, I just want share some great results that we have had. And when it comes to kids health, I want to tell everyone I know about this amazing juice.

Sincerely,
A.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I don't know if this is possible...See if you can get another chamber and set next to him with it to your mouth as if your getting a treatment with him

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.E.

answers from Kansas City on

I had the same trouble with my son. Our chamber has pictures of a bear putting the chamber to his face, the medicine going into the chamber and then a picture of the bear with the medicine (represented by dots) in his lungs. We would talk about the 3 steps and how it made the bear's chest feel better. After that he was fine following the bear. I would even show the bear "cheering" after my son took the albuterol. I am not sure if you can get your hands on this particular chamber mask, but it really seemed to work for us.

As for potty training. It is really just a matter of time. When they want to do it, they will. There really isn't anything we can do to rush them. It took my 3 year old almost 6 months.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Topeka on

Hi B., my son started with the chamber at a year. I allowed him to play with it in between times that way he was not afraid when it came down to needing it. Asthma attacks can be very scary for both child and parent stay calm above all things. If he is kicking and screaming chances are he is not having a major attack and probably is ok with what ever amount of medicne he gets through the fight. The inhaler is the least invassive treatment for asthma at this point if it is enough to control the attacks than yes listen to your doctor. However if they seem to get more frequent and more severe, than ask about the nebulizer, which will deliver more medicine in a differant way. they both have thier pros and cons.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.V.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi, my name is A.. Mother of 3. A 12 year old, 8 year old and a 10 month old. Which all three have asthma. At that age with my oldest two we bought a pedeatric mask for the machine and long tubes for the nebulizer and played "monster" Whoever had the mask on was the monster trying to find us, like hide an go seek. They always wanted to play it even when the machine was not needed and not turned on. Maybe finding a game out of it would make it easier!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.B.

answers from Kansas City on

When my son was that age I let him watch TV for the 5 minutes it took to take the treatment. Since he doesn't get a ton a tv that was a huge treat and you can get anything done while they are in the tv comma! Also, if it is not a spacer but a nebulizer you are using (I'm not sure which you meant) they have kid friendly masks that look like dinosaurs, etc. Hope this helps! The only bright side of the whole issue is if they are screaming and crying they actually get MORE of the asthma meds in since they are breathing so deeply. Not much of a comfort, but it got me through a couple of rough asthma treatments :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.R.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi...
My 3 year old too has Asthma and has to do the albuterol treatments when needed as well. She has been on and off it since she was one. She goes back and forth to taking it well and then kicking and screaming. I can usually get her to do a good job with it, if I let her hold the mask to her face and I'll read books to her. She also likes to hold it to her stuffed kitty and they take turns. Not sure if that will help, but it's worth a shot.
Hope it gets better!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.H.

answers from Wichita on

I have asthma, and so my son saw me using the nebulizer. He knew it wasn't scary and I felt better after using it. When he developed asthma, the allergist/specialist prescribed for my son a "kids" version of a nebulizer that actually came with a mask that looked like a cute animal. It didn't look threatening at all. His biggest problem was sitting still long enough for a treatment. So maybe ask your doctor about durable equipment for children because they have it out there!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.C.

answers from St. Louis on

My son was given a mask shaped like a dinosaur's head at the hospital. Since then, no resistence. Check at www.nebulizermask.com and maybe he can pick out one he'd really like. Looks like they take insurance too.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Columbia on

My son also has asthma. He always feels like a 'big kid' if I let him do his own inhaler. He will spray into the chamber then suck it in all on his own. We sit with him to make sure he is getting the most possible but it made it much easier for him to be willing to take it.
As for the potty training. We had the boys all but trained and he started going number 2 in his underwear again. First we tried taking him back to pull ups until he quit going number 2 in them... didn't work all the time just some. Then it started all over again when we went back to big boy underwear. Our doctor suggested having him clean himself after he went number 2 in his pants. Of course we had to clean him after the fact. But after 2 or 3 times of him having to clean himself and his underpants he started using the potty. When he would use the potty we would reward him. It only took a couple of weeks and he never even had an accident after.

Good luck, on both issues.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.V.

answers from St. Louis on

I can't address the asthma situation, but as far as the potty training, my 3 year old did the same thing. She would hold her poop, then get constipated, and start a viscious cycle. She used to cry, scream and kick when we tried to sit her on the potty to poop. We also tried the candy rewards, but still had a big struggle, and eventually she didn't care if she got candy.

Our Pediatrician suggested something that has been working like a charm. We put her in a warm bath about 20-30 minutes after dinner (which is also a good time to put them on the potty because the body's GI tract is activated about that long after each meal and is a natural time for a bowel movement). We tell her during the day that she has to go poo-poo after her bath, and it has worked every time. By doing it this way, she goes and only fusses if it hurts when her stool is larger than normal. The MD told us that the warm bath helps her to relax all the muscles, and gets a little water up inside to make it easier to go, and doing it after a meal utilizes the body's natural cycle's to help her go.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Why the chamber and not thru the nebulizer. We have a 7 year old who can't use the chambet yet. When you use the nebulizer he has to sit for longer but he can have the mask on and still play with cars or action figures or he will play his game boy. We tried the chamber a couple of months ago and our Dr. didn't feel he was getting all his medicine. It is kind of hard to master at such a young age.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

my son was diagnosed with asthma when he was 2 so I have been dealing with the same issue. Ask your doctor to write a prescription for a nebulizer machine and liquid albuterol for the machine. Ask for the attachment that goes up to their mouths, not the face mask. That is what we use for my son. We only use the inhaler with the chamber in emergency situations and he keeps it with him at the babysitter and she has used it on him several times. Kids don't like that because the inhaler has a bad taste that it leaves in their mouth and their heart rates speed up a little and that can be a little freaky for kids. We sat my son down and explained to him that when he is coughing and wheezing he does not have a choice but to take the medicine. He can either stand their and do it like a big boy or we will hold him down and he will still get the medicine. He chooses to take it like a big boy and does not give us trouble anymore. Good luck to you, but the nebulizer machine makes all the difference in the world.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

Y.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Did they give you tubing that's for a child? You may have to take turns & share in taking the medicine. Make it look like your doing the exact same thing that your wanting him to do & them tell him it's your turn. Encourage him & clap & yell big boy when he does it...kids love to be praised. Good luck & God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.H.

answers from St. Louis on

My son was also just diagnosed with asthma. I found a book at Amazon.com called The Lion who had Asthma. This book features a preschool aged boy who pretends to be a lion but can't roar because he has an asthma attack. His mommy brings out the nebulizer, etc... I LOVE this book, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. While there are a lot of books out there for kids with asthma this is the only one I've found geared specificly for preschool age. It is perfect for our 3 year old boys. Hope this helps. My son has a mask that looks like a fish and he has seen his cousins take breathing treatments. I think I would continue to offer a small reward after he does the treatment. Be careful not to bribe because you may set yourself up for a time when he will be in controll and start to put contengencys on you. ie. "If you give me candy then I will do a breathing treatment. Plus point out how much better he feels when it's done and what a strong brave boy he is. If nothing works right now, don't worry, he will eventually get used to it since doing this is not an option. Oh, my son really likes turning the machine on by himself.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Wichita on

I have a 5 & 3 yo with asthma, it is a challenge to get them to take their breathing treatments (txs). When it is time to give txs we pick a book or two and sit down to read them. Also, we have the hand held V-pocket and they get to sit down and play that during their txs, they love that and they usually put the chamber in their mouth and use their hands to play the game. Also, when the machine is not on, let him hold the chamber and get comfortable with it. I was told the chamber does not need to be in their mouth, just in the vicinity of the mouth/nose. If you have a mask that goes over the face, I would recommend going to the medical supply store and getting a one or two ended "pipe." If you have a chamber that the "smoke" comes out both sides, put your hands over the end away from the face. When we first started, I would wait until they were taking a nap or fallen asleep and hold the chamber up to them. I hope these tidbits help!
As for the potty training, let him be in charge. My 3yo fought and fought this, until I let him be "in control" and decide when he wanted to use the potty. When he would have an accident I would say "oh well accidents happen" and use the underwear as a prize. When I didn't make a big deal of the pooping, he decided it was his choice and wanted to do it - I know that doesn't work for everyone, but I hope it helps!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.W.

answers from Wichita on

I do not have a child with Asthma but I have done daycare in my home for 8 yrs now and have watched children that had to have treatments while in my care. In the past when one child fought the treatments I would wait until nap time and then hold it right up to her face while she slept. It was the only way I could get her to do a treatment and it seamed to work for us.
On the potty training - I know you probably don't want to hear it, but until they decide they are ready there is nothing you can do about it. I tried EVERYTHING with my two year old. I knew she was smart enough. We tried stickers, rewards, "big girl panties", but until she decided one day that she wanted to do it there was no forcing her. Just try taking a break from it for a month and he might surprise you. That's what worked for me anyway. Good luck, I know it's frustrating, hang in there!
A.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.O.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi! My son is 18mos and has been officially diagnosed with asthma after a year. It took him being hospitalized for an attack to get an official diagnosis. The hospital gave us the same thing, spacer with a mask, for his albuterol. He screamed & cried at first. Then I tried to make it "fun". I don't know if this will work for your 3yr old, but it's worth a shot. I would let my son hold the spacer and "practice" putting it to his face when he didn't need the albuterol. I think it got him used to having the mask on his face and since he was the one putting it to his face, gave him a sense of control. When he does need the inhaler, I ask him to hold the spacer and I shake, shake, shake the inhaler. Then I tell him that the inhaler needs to go in the spacer..this end. The mask needs to go on your face...this end. Then I tell him I need to spray (as I spray the inhaler). Then I say, ok...let's count to 8...and I count slowly. He's so used to it now that he puts his face forward to put the mask on.
I hope this helps!!!! I know it can be frustrating & heartbreaking at the same time.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi B., My 3 yr. old daughter has asthma also. I also had the same problem with the treatments with her. The dr. told me to hold her down and "just do it". And the more she cries....the better the treatment works! The crying lets the meds go down further into her lungs. It was absolutely horrible to hold her down and see the fear in her eyes while I was giving her the treatment, I cried EVERY time I did it! But I have to say, that she has "graduated" to mask free treatments and now does it by herself. Hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Kansas City on

B.,
My situation is very similar to yours. I have two boys, 3 yr. old and 2 yr. old (in May). Both sons have to do the breathing treatments as needed (especially the youngest), but none of them have been diagnosed w/asthma at this time. I have never been able to get them to wear the mask, but they will sit and watch TV while I hold the other kind of attachment to their nose or mouth. It probably doesn't give them as much medicine, but it is the best I've been able to do so far.

As far as the potty training, my 3 year old would prefer to go #2 in his pants. If I can catch him in the act, he'll sit on the toilet and go, but otherwise, he won't tell us. I've heard that a lot of kids do this, so hopefully he will come around soon. Bribing doesn't always work with him either.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.L.

answers from St. Louis on

Do you have the mask, or just the inhaler looking thing he can put in his mouth? The doctor recommended the mask for my son, but he never liked it. I think he thought he was a little more in control just sticking the inhaler in his mouth. I just had to watch and make sure he took the whole treatment.
Good luck!
[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

B.,
When my son was 14 months old.. (just 4 months ago) he got really sick and had to stay in the hosptial for 3 days! He was on regular breathing treatments of Albuteral every 3 to 4 hours. and then continued at home 2 times a day. He would scream and scream and kick the only way to give him the meds was to hold him and have someone else hold the tube in front of his face. (It think he was scared of the whole thing) Once he got used to it he would hold it for him self. We forced him to put the face mask on with the little purple dinosaur (when he was in the hospital)finally we realized that would never work, untill one day I put it on my face.. and he wanted to be like mommy!

I hope this helps in some way!Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.E.

answers from St. Louis on

B.,
Sometime when he is feeling better try role playing with a favorite toy/stuffed animal with him watching. If he doesn't have one, pick one out that you pretend you love the best and use it. Have "teddy" have a "terrible cold and it gets worse and teddy can't breathe very well, he coughs and wheezes. If you have a Stethoscope take time to listen to teddy and say out loud something like, Oh,Teddy you are having troubles breathing, we need to get you some medicine. Give your Son the opportunity to try and help you make his favorite stuffed animal better by asking him to get you the machine and the tubing. Get a small container with just a few cc of tap water and use an old Tylenol dropper to drop a few drops of water into medication holder, talk to 'teddy' about what you are doing as you are doing it while your son watches. Help put the mask on the Teddy with your son's help explaining to 'teddy' how much the medication will open his airway to help him breath better. Explain to 'teddy' that the 'smoke' coming from the mask is medicine and will help him. It is not hot or will not burn him. Have your son flip the switch on and off at the machine. (Sometimes it is the 'smoke' that scares children, one thought it was a fire breathing dragon and it was going to kill him. Sometimes it is the sound of machine turning on and running. I used to be afraid of my mothers vacuum cleaner because of the noise it made.) I usually place the mask on a forearm first to let them feel it is not hot and it is just giving a mist of water-like stuff. Then I place it on their face. My son was afraid the mask was suffocating his own breath so I showed him the holes in the mask to let him see he would still be able to breath with the mask on.
All this helps but may not eliminate the fear or the fight. Keep reasuring the child, My husband or I even held my son when he was this age so he would know I was right beside him all the time. Ultimately I taught my son that with asthma it was his breathe and lifeline, it was vitally important to him and us so that he could breathe and live. Sometimes it was a matter of just insisting he sit and take the medication in what ever means that means for you and your family. My Son was a Daddy's boy, he would sit for daddy when he wouldn't sit for me. I found that more I allowed my son to touch and play, under supervision of me, with the machine, mask and water when he felt better, the less and less trouble he gave me during the treatments. It does get better as time goes on.
Good luck

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.L.

answers from Topeka on

As far as the asthma is concerned, let him see another child who has asthma do it in front of him. There are so many kids who have asthma that it shouldn't be hard to find someone. Another option would be to let him decorate it with stickers and such and make it his personally.

Mom of asthmatic daughter,
D.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi B.,

Been there done that! All 4 of my kids(5,4,2,and 7months) take inhalers with the areochamber. My best advice is try sitting down and telling him what the medicine is for and that it will make him feel better if he takes it. I know reasoning with a 3 year old can be a challenge, but you might be suprised. He will also get used to it eventually. It also may help if you let him hold it on his face and tell him what a big boy he is. My daughter(2) still fights if I try to hold it, but she is fine if she holds it. We count out loud to 10 slowly so they know how long they have to keep it on their face. The first few times he may pull it away too soon, but just keep reminding him that he has to get to 10 first. Mine all take theirs without a fight now(most of the time anyway.) I would still reward with a treat after he does it well. It never hurts to reenforce good behaviors.
As far as the potty training, be patient. Which I know is next to impossible when you are constantly washing out dirty underwear. My son was the same way. We tried everything(stickers, M&Ms, etc.) Ice cream was what finally worked for us. Even if that meant ice cream for breakfast. He also got a new toy after a whole week with no accidents. I would try to find something that your son really really likes and doesnt get very often. It has to be something big(at least big in the mind of a 3 year old) for him to work for. Good luck!
L.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from St. Louis on

My children (boy almost 5 and girl 7-1/2) both have asthma and have been using albuterol as needed since they were 22 mos. and 3-1/2 respectively. Until they were 4 years old and even still when I think they really need a good dose we
use(d) a nebulizer to administer the albuterol and daily preventative med. Since then we primarily use the chamber. The nebulizer is a little more forgiving since they just have to breathe normal until the "smoke" is gone. With the chamber, if they don't get the 5-6 breaths just right they may not be getting the correct amount of medicine. Our insurance company covered the cost of the nebulizer machine, so you may want to check in to getting one. These are also nice if you have to give them albuterol while they are sleeping -- you can just hold it close to their face and you don't have to wake them up and hope that they breathe in 5 times correctly with each puff through the chamber. We even had a fun fish-shaped mask for the nebulizer when my daughter was little. My daughter (7-1/2 yrs old) was 3-1/2 years old when she was diagnosed with asthma. She had been healthy as a horse before this, never even having taken an antibiotic. I heard somewhere that children not having ever had a fever as an infant/toddler was linked to acquiring asthma later in childhood. No doctor I've mentioned this to though has ever heard of this study. Hers is triggered by upper respiratory illnesses and my son's asthma is triggered by allergies.

Regarding your other question, it took both my children longer to be poopy trained than potty trained. Fortunately, they both would tell me that they needed a diaper or pull-up when they needed to go no.2. This was frustrating because I knew they knew that they had to go but they had some issue of letting it go into the toilet?! I tried not to make a big deal about it and figured that in time they would come around. Sure enough, my daughter at 3yrs, 3mos. just finally decided that it was okay to let a "part" of her be flushed down the toilet and never looked back. With my son, we had to set a deadline and his 4th birthday was it -- we said all 4 year olds are big boys and go poopy in the toilet -- once he did it, he never looked back either. It is definitely a choice that they have to be ready to make I think.

Hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Kansas City on

When my 4 year old had a double pink eye and we had to put vigamox in both of his eyes 3 times a day, it was brutal. He hated it so much and fought every single time, but we kept at it and explained the importance of it and that the less he fought the faster the procedure would be over. In time he understood that we weren't gonna back down and that it was easier to just let us put the drops in. By the last day, he was reminding me that he needed to take the drops.

Have you asked the pharmacist if she/he had any recommendations on administering the Albuterol to children?

Good luck. I hope he comes around.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Are you using a chamber or a mask? Some kids are scared of the masks. First make sure it is the right size for his face and if so try letting him be a "big boy" by letting him handle it himself. Show him how to do it and then let him take over, he will feel in more control. If he still resists try the holding chamber with a little instruction from you he should be able to hold it to his mouth while you pump his dose (it might be a little awkward for him to do both. He could even decorate the chamber with stickers and such. As for the PT, with my oldest we had the same problems and I decided to just quit and let him come back to it again later. I was worried he would never do it but he once again became interested and just before school wanted to be out of trainers. I just kept an eye out for signs that he was ready again. I always kept asking if he wanted to go use the toilet though, just did not put him on it until he said he wanted to. Also both my boys hated the little potty chairs and rather use the real potty. HTH

A.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions