Asthma??! What to do when your 3 year old’s got it?

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He looks invincible, doesn’t he??  And most of the time, I think he is too.  Really, you should see how fast this kid can climb to the top of a fridge, or run up and down hills (repeatedly)!

Well, last year, when Elise was new, Caleb started having cold-like symptoms.  With just having another baby, we thought it would pass, and didn’t worry too much.  However, he all of a sudden turned for the worst.  One morning, he took his favourite stuffed animals, and lay under the kitchen table sucking his thumb, cough, cough and more coughing.

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With my Chiropractor background, I really hesitate giving meds to my kids.  But, when it seemed like his coughing was getting so loud the neighbours asked about it, and he just wouldn’t play anymore, it was time to see the doctor.  We found out he had an ear infection and double pneumonia.  Trying to heal this boy from this infection took months.  And we were close to having to hospitalize him to help him breathe.  SCARY!

We have since done a bit of research and met with a great Respirologist (doctor specialized in breathing).  Here’s what we’ve learned:

1.  At the very first sign of a cold start his inhalers.  We’ve tried delaying it a few times, thinking it’s just a little sniffle, but it always goes to the lungs!

2.  Keep him as active and fit as possible.

3.  Try to avoid situations where he’ll catch a cold … unrealistic, but wash his hands lots in challenging places.  The respirologist went as far as saying not to let this kid go to preschool or daycare, and avoid sick people.  I’ve also read literature that suggests that having a lot of colds in childhood can lead to an increase in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in adulthood, which means progressive, irreversible changes to airflow… as in, no fun.

4.  Give him a back massage before bed, research has shown that 20 minutes of muscle stroking before bed can decrease asthma symptoms.

5.  Take him to a chiropractor, making sure his lower neck, upper back and ribs are moving well can help him feel better.

6.  Watch his posture.  Bad posture can decrease his ability to breathe well.

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Implementing these things has really helped.  This past week, he got a cold, and we started his inhaler right away.  3 days later, his cough is gone.  Amazing!

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