4 year old daughter new diagnosed


My 4yo daughter was diagnosed back in December.  She has been doing very well until this week (she was sick with a cold two weeks ago).  We have now been upgraded to a nebulizer twice a day and until over this hump oral steroids.  Even though we are doing the rescue dose every four hours as well, she still has coughing episodes.  I guess as a mom this is all so new to me…it scares me!  Any advice, stories or what to expect would be so appreciated!

Thank you!


Comments 25

  • Allison

    Hi – that sounds like my son's pattern (he is 12 and was diagnosed around one or two). About two weeks after being sick with a cold or virus, his asthma will flare, and sometimes he has gone on steroids.

    Check in with your doctor. I know one thing we are sometimes advised to do during those periods is to also increase his controller med – well, to be honest he is on a higher dose now. But let's say if he was only taking, normally, one puff or two puffs a day of, say, Qvar, in the morning, the doctor might have told us to add an evening dose as well.

    But that's just us and not official medical advice – but that is my been-there-done-that experience! Hope she feels better soon!

  • Kathy P

    sorry your little one is struggling. I'd touch base with the doc again. I know our doc often adds other stuff like a cough suppressant depending in whether is a productive or irritating cough.

  • Clemhen

    Thanks you all! She seems better now.  Just a little spaced from all the meds.  I'm sure we will get used to all of this!

  • Kathy P

    Oh, so glad to hear she's feeling better! Hang in there momma! It's definitely and adjustment!

  • Andrea L.

    My son was diagnosed with asthma when he was one he is now eight he goes through colds and allergy attacks when ever the weather changes and during allergy seasons.  His meds do get increased during this time.  It is scary but unfortunately normal hang in there.

  • Kathy P

    Andrea – we have a "sick plan" that has us ramp up meds as soon we notice symptoms like increased allergies or a cold starting. It can really help to keep things from spiraling too far out.

  • Jo in Houston

    Ask your doctor whether he thinks your daughter should be using a peak flow meter. You just take a daily reading, by blowing into a gadget. You can detect the onset of asthma symptoms before your girl may even feel them, and head them off before they become more difficult to treat. A decent one is about $40. and is equipped to electronically record trends in breathing capacity. Cheaper ones are about $20. 

  • kandicejo

    :yeahthat: We also have a sick plan that means we automatically add more meds/frequency when sickness starts. That helps to not get so behind the 8 ball with symptoms. 

    CLEMHEN – glad your DD is doing better now. Asthma can be such a tricky disease to manage. One of the questions I would have for your doc is when they expect to see improvement. So if they expect improvement within 48 hrs, you know to call if you're not seeing it or things get worse in that time frame. 

  • Natasha

    Work closely with the best specialist you can find and have them coordinate all specialist information and testing. Do not get passed around from specialist to specialist.

  • Terrianne

    I had my first asthma attack at the age of 3 days.  I am now almost 51 and I still have asthma and unfortunately none of the "new meds" out there have worked with me so we went old school and although it doesn't completely stop attacks it does decrease the number.  I am very blessed to have a very good doctor who does everything short of make house calls to keep me out of the hospital.  I have gotten allergy shots a large portion of my life but all they manage is to help keep me out of the hospital.  The best advice I can give is that NOBODY ever smoke around your child.  My family all smoked so this contributed to my issues.  

    The most important thing you can do is if she is having an attack is not to let her see you panic.  When our breathing is constricted it is a normal reaction to panic BUT if we have someone who appears calm helping us it helps to calm us somewhat but if we see them panic it makes is even worse.  That would be one of the best things I can say.  Fortunately through the years and many attacks my husband has learned this so now he reacts calmly but matter of factly and it helps to calm me a bit.

  • Carey
    Clemhen posted:


    My 4yo daughter was diagnosed back in December.  She has been doing very well until this week (she was sick with a cold two weeks ago).  We have now been upgraded to a nebulizer twice a day and until over this hump oral steroids.  Even though we are doing the rescue dose every four hours as well, she still has coughing episodes.  I guess as a mom this is all so new to me…it scares me!  Any advice, stories or what to expect would be so appreciated!

    Thank you!

    Hi Clemhen! I am a Family Nurse Practitioner and have worked with children who have asthma. It sounds like your daughter has a mild case of asthma and is what we call exacerbated by cold viruses and most likely cold weather as well. As she gets older she may improve, but she could also have intermittent worse periods during changes such as puberty and if she becomes involved in sports and other activities. The best thing to do is become aware of her triggers and try to avoid them! Also, be sure to keep her rescue inhaler on you at all times! Use of nebulizer more frequently and steroids during a flare up is ok. The most important thing is to keep damage to the small airways to a minimum with daily medication as prescribed by her pediatrician. I would recommend to get involved with a pediatric asthma/allergy specialist to keep close monitoring of her asthma. Good luck!


  • Bernadette Berset

    Hi I am a school nurse and mom to a 20 year old daughter who has asthma. She was diagnosed when she was about 7, it laid dormant for quite a while after allergy shots and then flared when she went off to college (3000 miles away from home- lol). My advice for a mom with a diagnosis in a child of four is to include her in her care as much as you can. That will obviously be somewhat concrete for a preschool child and change as she grows but the seeds are laid now. Sometimes, we as moms want to shield our kids but it is vitally important that she learns what it feels like to be "tight" and how to discern changes in the way she feels and how that translates to her current health status. Being able to put that into words helps her cope with symptoms that occur quickly and unexpectedly and can make all the difference with effective treatment. Be an advocate for her at school and any social events she is involved in, so that teachers, daisy troop leaders, sports coaches, day care providers know what to do if symptoms emerge. Try hard not to let this diagnosis limit what she can do- check with her doctor and if they are ok with it, find a way for your daughter to do what she loves. My daughter played basketball and rode horses and this continued after her diagnosis. There was many a basketball game, I sat chewing my lip as I saw her breathing patterns change from across the basketball court. The feeling of pride was awesome as I saw her cope with her symptoms without me having to race in… and that is nothing to the feeling you will have when she leaves home to pursue her dreams and manages things by herself (with a few phones home).

    As previous posters mentioned, learn all you can about her condition, find a specialist you can trust and work with and hang on to the knowledge that helping your beautiful daughter learn to cope with this is the most amazing gift you can give her.

    Good luck.

  • Clemhen

    Everyone thank you SO much for your advice and encouragement!  I am a nurse as well…but know NOTHING (or did know nothing) about asthma, and when it is your child you kind of forget everything.  We love our asthma/allergy MD.  She is pediatric trained as well and her staff is amazing.  We are now on Budesonide nebulizer treatments twice a day, as well as the usual allergy meds.  Then we have the rescue treatments as needed.  I agree and so does our MD that her "flares" are seasonal or related to her catching a cold.  I have to say this Momma was scared to send her back to school knowing she would be outside, in the cold and whatever else is in the air…I realize I can't keep her in a bubble!!   But she has done great!  My husband and I, as well as anyone else we could tell, now know what to look for as far what may lead into a flare.  She has done great with the treatments and is beginning to realize this is just part of our daily routine now.   Here she is on the day I posted this! Still smiling with her new friend!

  • Kathy P

    What a cutie! Definitely good to "train" everyone on what to look for. Does the school have a copy of her asthma emergency plan?

    Welcome to new members posting! All great advice and support!

  • Cheryl McGary

    Hi Clemhen,

    I am a pediatric nurse at our hospital and a mom of a now 24yr. old son who has allergies and asthma and a 26yr. old son who has asthma as well. Brian, my 24yr. old has had asthma since he was 3years old. It is scary, even when you are a nurse and are surrounded by health professionals. What helped us was an asthma action plan so everyone knows the plan for when symptoms get worse and for emergencies, and for knowing the steps to take when symptoms change(knowing what your daughter's "signs for increasing distress" are). Knowing his triggers helped as well. As a young adult he knows his body well and when to step up his treatment when he has colds and seasonal allergies(ie; his controller). Staying in contact with your physician can also be reassuring and helpful. Taking which ever controller your daughter needs is important as it helps to prevent lung changes over time. I am a long time asthmatic as well and have taken my controller for many, many years and it has made a big difference. The one other thing I can share is the importance of knowing her triggers. Avoiding the triggers, if you can, is helpful and important and taking allergy medicine if appropriate. I grew up in a home with 2 smoking parents, dogs, a wood burning stove and allergies to pollens, all of which are triggers for me. Back then there were no inhalers like there is now and I struggled as a child. I am able to avoid many of my triggers and it is a tremendous help in that it allows me to have great control of my asthma along with the use of my medication. For some, this is not always easy to do. I always shared with my sons the reasons for needing the medications they need as they grew up and my son now is comfortable and knowledgeable in how to care for his asthma, for which I am proud of. Yes, there were a few bumpy spots along the way as there almost always is when dealing with a chronic illness. It makes me feel good that he knows how to take care of himself. Keep up the good work and stay strong! Best of luck to you and your family.

  • Kathy P

    Hi Natasha – I'm not sure which person you are referring to. You can contact someone privately by sending a "private message". Click on their name and select "Start Private Message". 

  • Sri

    The first few months after diagnosis are definitely a struggle, but you will fall into a rhythm with the maintenance meds and will read her signs better as yo when she needs rescue meds. One thing to always keep in mind would be to call your doctor whenever you have a doubt in mind – your calls do NOT overwhelm them. Wish you all the best and hoping she stays well!!!

  • K8sMom2002

    Clemhen, just wondering how things are going? I hope the weather (and all this spring pollen!) has been kind to you and your little one!

  • Jen

    Welcome to AAFA.  Thanks so much for posting.  Cool to see nurses on here posting their experiences as well.  Please jump in and start a new post sharing your challenges with asthma, reply to others etc.  


    Clemhen – update when you get a chance.

  • Kathy P

    @Clemhen how have things gone over the summer? Is your little on starting school soon (or maybe already started)? Did you get all of ?

  • K8sMom2002

    @Cheryl McGary, as I was catching back up on this, I was wondering … what advice would you give to a mom like me? Someone who has a daughter about to start her senior year of high school and will be off to college … what ways can I encourage and support her transition to fully taking care of her asthma and allergies herself?