Managing your child’s asthma with LloydsPharmacy

When Lewis was diagnosed with asthma at the age of two, I knew very little about the condition. Although I was diagnosed with asthma myself aged twenty three, completely out of nowhere whilst pregnant with Lewis, I naively treated it more as a nuisance than a condition. And actually, asthma can be incredibly dangerous and even deadly.

Asthma is explained as “a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity” and, as Lewis grew I soon realised that it would impact him, and all our lives, quite heavily over the years.

At the age of four when Lewis suffered his first asthma attack and was hospitalised, it really hit me just serious this was. To see my baby gasping for air, too weak to even lift his head from the pillow, his lips going blue despite copious amounts of oxygen being pumped into his lungs, that moment terrified me and, even worse, it was just the start of a series of attacks over the years.

At thirteen years old I thought that we had reached a point where Lewis’s asthma was relatively under control, having gone almost a year since his last course of steroids and hospital admission. Over Christmas, with the usual Winter bugs, he began to suffer with his breathing to the point where he was struggling to walk more than a few steps without coughing or needing to use his blue inhaler. After several courses of steroids he did start to improve, and yet we have been left in a situation where his inhalers are no longer doing their job and he is constantly struggling to function “as normal” due to his asthma.

LloydsPharmacy recently commissioned a survey amongst 1000 adults, who either have asthma or care for a child who lives with asthma, which showed that 43% of people caring for a child with asthma say there could be more information available about the condition. Over 34% say there should be more lifestyle advice for managing a child’s asthma, 31% say they fear their child will develop further serious conditions as a result of their asthma, and 38% felt worried about how to manage their child’s asthma and how to stop them from having an asthma attack when they were first diagnosed. Interestingly, 31% say their child cannot take part in the sports and exercise they enjoy as a result of their asthma.

And I relate to every single one of these worries.

Because now, at fourteen, I am incredibly aware of how asthma is affecting Lewis’s life, his love of sport and every day exercise. I am aware of the constant wheeze with every breath, the night time cough that keeps him awake, and the dark shadows beneath his eyes. And with his inhalers clearly not working as well as they should, and our own GP’s reluctance to address that, when we were invited down to trial the Asthma Support Service, I realised we needed all the help we could get!

On arriving at our local LloydsPharmacy we were greeted by a professional and friendly pharmacist who showed us to a private room. She asked us a series of questions about Lewis’s medical record, his history of asthma, details of his medication and what we were hoping to gain from the appointment. The pharmacist explained that they offer an inhaler check where the child’s inhaler technique is checked to ensure they are being used correctly. With Lewis living with asthma for twelve years, we agreed that the check was un-necessary as he had plenty of experience under his belt!

Even so, the pharmacist was able to give some really great advice that, despite twelve years of experience, we were still unaware of. She recommended that, instead of taking his brown inhaler before he went to sleep, Lewis took the inhaler straight after his evening meal so to allow the steroid to open up his lungs well in advance of going to bed. She also recommended washing his mouth out with water after taking the brown inhaler to prevent a dry throat, which was aggravating Lewis’s wheeze, and to rinse any residue steroid from his mouth.

She also told us that despite the recommended dose of blue inhaler being up to 4 puffs 8 times a day, Lewis could infect take 4-8 puffs 8 times a day. This made a lot of sense as often Lewis had 4 puffs of his inhaler with no noticeable relief.

Lastly she told us that she would personally write to our doctor to recommend that Lewis’s brown inhaler is assessed with the possibility of switching to an alternative steroid. We agreed that his inhaler were not working as they should for him and persevering was showing no improvement.

We were given an Asthma Support Pack containing support leaflets from Asthma UK to help parents manage their child’s asthma when they’re at home, away from an expert. The leaflets provide useful websites, information on how allergies affect asthma, an asthma attack recovery plan and services to help support both Lewis and I.

The pharmacist told us that she would see us again once Lewis had his new inhalers from our GP and gave us her contact details to make that appointment when we were ready. Within 24 hours I had a phone call from our GP’s receptionist to say that they had received the letter and offered us an appointment in two weeks time to assess his symptoms and medication. Having spent the last few months banging out head against a brick wall with our GP, I was hugely grateful to LloydsPharmacy for acting as the middle man.

I am hopeful that, armed with the information we received from LloydsPharmacy, and with Lewis’s medication being changed accordingly, we will be able to take control of his asthma and see an improvement in the coming months. With children aged 12+ being offered an Asthma Control Test to help the pharmacist determine how well you have managed their asthma medicines during the past four weeks, I feel reassured that should we struggle with Lewis’s new medication there will be help and advice available.

We were so impressed with the Asthma Support Service provided and I would recommend it to all parents of children with asthma. You can find out more about the services offered over at www.lloydspharmacy.com/en/info/respiratory-support-service.

** This is a collaborative post in conjunction with LloydsPharmacy. All words and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.**

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72 Comments

  1. May 10, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    Great post this. As someone who suffered in silence with Asthma as a kid it’s good to see more being done to help at that age!

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:14 pm

      Thanks Jon. I think it’s very important to have these services for children and parents too. It’s important that we can do as much as possible to help our children. xx

  2. May 10, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Great article. I think so many people don’t realise how serious asthma really is.

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      I agree Kelly, it can be incredibly dangerous! xx

  3. May 10, 2018 / 1:12 pm

    I can totally relate to this – I had terrible asthma as a child (along with eczema) and managing it became a massive mission. My heart goes out to him and I hope he will eventually grow out of the worst bit of it like I did xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      I really hope so. I hadn’t got asthma at all until the age of 23! It’s crazy how it happens! xx

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      It’s such a great support service, I have learned so much! xx

  4. May 10, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Love this, I went through a lot of similar products when I was younger I have had asthma from a baby until now. Its scary and for some can get better with age! Don’t let it stop your family from doing things (: I also have special tablets to take before travelling aeroplanes. They’re dissolvable steroids that help you breath with the recycled air on long haul flights!

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Oh I haven’t heard of that before! My son flies to Greece this month so I will check with the GP about those – thank you! xx

  5. May 10, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    This is helpful for parents whose kids have asthma. In my family, all my brothers had asthmas except me and my sister. Weird. Luckily, T doesn’t have it although she has eczema 🙁

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Ahh they are all interlinked aren’t they! Lewis and I have asthma, Harry has eczema and we all have hay fever! Booooo! xx

    • Laura Dove
      May 10, 2018 / 8:10 pm

      Nor me Alex, it’s a great service and has given us so much information! I can’t recommend it enough! xx

  6. May 10, 2018 / 11:04 pm

    This is such a great post, it is wonderful that LloydsPharmacy are doing this! I have asthma but it was a lot worse when I was a child and it did affect how I did things and what I could do for sure.

  7. Lauren Morris
    May 10, 2018 / 11:49 pm

    What is your opinion on using an air purifier to help control arms at home? I have been looking at this site for recommendations and Blueair seems like a good choice.

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Oh that’s a good idea! We haven’t tried one but I will look into it thanks! xx

  8. Laurence
    May 11, 2018 / 12:22 am

    I had asthma when I was a little kid, and the tool from the 2nd picture, I think what made my asthma go away. Thankfully it’s gone now. That pack will help a lot of kids to prevent it.

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Oh thats great you grew out of it. I developed it at 22 when I was pregnant! xx

  9. May 11, 2018 / 5:39 am

    I’ve never experienced asthma before so I don’t know the difficulties and strains, it’s good that Lloyds Pharmacy are doing research and looking into this x

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      I think it’s such an important service and is going to help a lot of families! xx

  10. May 11, 2018 / 6:31 am

    Asthma is not easy to live with especially if you’re a child. I think it’s really nice that you found a place that gives full support of that.

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 12:58 pm

      Yes I feel much more confident about controlling his asthma, it can feel overwhelming at times! xx

  11. May 11, 2018 / 7:19 am

    This sounds like such a great service. I’ve had asthma since I was a child and have an asthma review every year and I’ve never heard some of those tips before. I have to admit I’ve often been a bit lax in managing my asthma and I had no idea until my last review that ploughing on and just using the blue inhaler to manage things can actually cause long term damage to your lungs. I’ve been much better about using my steroid inhalers since then!

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Yes I think sometimes the advice from the GP can be very repetitive and matter of fact, rather than taking the time to see what they can personally tailor for you or your child. I am asthmatic and really struggle with it at this time of year, that brown inhaler is so important! xx

  12. May 11, 2018 / 8:54 am

    This sounds like a great tool for asthma suffers and great that you have some new options to try

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 12:54 pm

      It was so informative, it’s made a real difference! xx

  13. May 11, 2018 / 12:13 pm

    As a kid, I was diagnosed with asthma. One of the best specialists in the country advice me to quit the sport immediately and prescribed tonnes of inhalers and tablets. With the medication, I was receiving and zero sport, I gained weight and became depressed. In the end, they found out that I didn’t have asthma to start with! It is such a common disease yet people don’t know enough about it.I can not even imagine how stressful it must have been for you to found out when your son was only 2!

    • Laura Dove
      May 11, 2018 / 12:52 pm

      Wow that’s awful! It’s so hard, especially when I see that this is really impacting on his life at the moment. He is very sporty, loves playing football, etc and I don’t want that to hold him back. Im hopeful we can get things under control again based on the advice we received. xx

  14. May 11, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Such a great post and I really hope this works for you. Got to be worth trying something new if it might help.

  15. May 11, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    This is a great post with a lot of really good info. I was a kid with asthma and thankfully I outgrew it, but I remember those days on the machine just so I could breathe.

  16. May 11, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    I was fortunate to have a kid with no asthma problems (fingers crossed it stays that way). I hope all goes well for yours!

  17. May 11, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    What a great service, I had no idea this existed. I’m so pleased that they were able to assist you getting the GP to listen after all this time. I know what a worrying time this has been for you xx

  18. May 11, 2018 / 11:05 pm

    One of my girls friends has very bad asthma and it amazes me how good she is at managing it and knowing what she needs to do. About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with asthma but I don’t have an inhaler and have never had an attack, so its all a bit strange really! Mich x

  19. May 12, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    Asthma sounds like a difficult thing to keep under control. It sounds like you were have such a run of good luck there for a while. I am glad you have such a well educated and informative pharmacy over there. That was some comprehensive information you got that it sounds like made a lot of sense.

  20. May 12, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    I could only imagine how difficult it is to suffer from asthma, or have to watch your child go through it. I’m so glad you were able to find the help Lewis needs!

  21. May 12, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    My brother is an asthmatic and suffered for a long time, which this type of service was around. Great post

  22. May 12, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    Asthma is such a scary disease. Great to hear that you got some solid, sensible advice. Sometimes the advice you get from a GP just isn’t specialised enough.

  23. May 12, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    This sounds like a great service! I can’t imagine how scary it must be having a child with asthma. My brother had it really bad when we were kids, in and out of hospital, but I didn’t appreciate the wider implications so much then. #KCACOLS

  24. May 12, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    Good to know you you can get help without a doctor visit. Fingers crossed mine seem to have outgrown asthma. Though I do remind my 17 year old that alcohol , cigarettes and dare I say drugs may bring it all back for him so he’d best lay off. Not sure he listens of course! #KCACOLS

  25. May 12, 2018 / 11:10 pm

    I know my daughter has dealt with asthma and has gone through her own bit of controlled testing. They did help out a lot. That’s great this service does a lot to help. I will have to see if I can find them locally.

  26. May 13, 2018 / 6:08 am

    This is very helpful info for parents whose kids have asthma. Pinned.

    #kcacols

  27. May 13, 2018 / 6:08 am

    This sounds like a wonderful service! While my children don’t have this, I have a sister that has dealt with asthma for years. 🙁

  28. May 13, 2018 / 6:30 am

    What a great service! My hubby suffers from Asthma and i do worry one of my 3 will develop it at some stage. It is just coming to the season now when he suffers the most as he also suffers from hay fever! I finally persuaded him to go see his GP for inhalers after having his asthma cough for a whole week so he should start to improve soon! (He doesn’t believe its his asthma causing his cough but i know the signs!!) Xx

  29. May 13, 2018 / 7:31 am

    Asthma can be a real headache especially for the kids who experience them. I think it’s really nice that there’s something like this that families can rely on for asthma treatment.

  30. May 13, 2018 / 10:52 am

    This is such an informative post. Luckily, no one in my family is ever diagnosed with asthma but one of my friends is suffering with it and she has to take care of her environment all the time. This is such a great service to provide counseling and treatment to kids suffering from asthma.

  31. May 13, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    When I was a kid I had asthma, and then it was dormant for like 20 years. Recently, though whenever spring is on the horizon, I have breathing complications brought on by allergies and I have to use my inhaler 4 times a day.

  32. May 13, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    It is great that you got to go along and so this with your son. You are so right, although asthma is fairly common it can be deadly!

  33. May 13, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing this and for raising the awareness. It is also nice to see more is being done for kids with asthma!

  34. May 13, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    That’s so amazing that they’re offering this service, asthma is such a terrible condition for kids and the more that can be done to help the better.

  35. May 13, 2018 / 7:12 pm

    Great post. In some ways, invisible conditions like asthma and diabetes are the most dangerous because of their intermittency and randomness. It’s far far too easy to get lulled into a false sense of security and then be unprepared or without your meds when you most need them.

  36. May 13, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Pharmacists are a great source of help and advice and i think they will be increasingly used by people. Luckily this is not something we have to deal with but does sounds a nightmare in some cases. #KCACOLS

  37. May 13, 2018 / 8:33 pm

    Thanks for this post. I have always suffered with asthma and am currently on steroids. Luckily I don’t think Cygnet (my 3 year old) really suffers, but I am hyper-alert. Thanks for raising awareness and all credit to Lewis for being so brave. Pen x #KCACOLS

  38. May 13, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    I myself have asthma. I’ve had mild asthma all my life. I have never been hospitalized (thank God) and have gone several years without using my inhaler (crazy, right?). I cannot imagine it from a parent’s end. I’m sure it worried my mom a lot when I was first diagnosed.

  39. May 13, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    One of my auties suffers from asthma and I remember being little and seeing her coughing so badly. Luckily now with all the progress, things are better. Be strong Laura ! ♥

  40. May 14, 2018 / 7:11 am

    Wow, this looks like a great service from Lloyds. I can imagine that it is really worrying having a child who has asthma. This service would be really supportive and help put both the child’s and parent’s mind at rest .

  41. May 14, 2018 / 8:49 am

    Asthma seems to have a stigma attached to it: “it’s only Asthma”, “it’s not like it’s a proper illness”. Much like Mental Health issues do, definitely worth raising awareness for. #kcacols

  42. May 14, 2018 / 8:52 am

    That’s ironic that you developed asthma while pregnant with Lewis who has asthma. That’s really wonderful that the pharmacist gave you so many useful tips and adjustments – and they are all simple changes that make so much sense! I hope Lewis sees continued improvement x

  43. Dannii
    May 14, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    It must be so scary to see a kid having an asthma attack. It’s great that they are putting so much research in to it.

  44. May 14, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    What a great idea for you and Lewis! And it sounds like you’re going to get somewhere with your doctor too, given the information that’ll be passed over. Our 8yo had an inhaler for around a month when she had a really nasty virus and I’ve got to admit that I’m very glad she doesn’t need it now. But very good to know that this help and advice is out there. #kcacols

  45. Jem
    May 14, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I think it’s great that Lloyds pharmacy are trying to raise more awareness about asthma. My Nan has suffered with it for years and I’m never quite sure how to help.

  46. May 15, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Great post! I know very little about asthma admittedly but it’s great to see pharmacies like Lloyd’s offering such great support. Even more so than some GPs it seems! #KCACOLS

  47. May 16, 2018 / 2:52 am

    glad to here that you are getting the help and information that you need laura. I can’t imagine how scary it must be to see your child struggling to breathe like that #KCACOLS

  48. May 16, 2018 / 11:05 am

    such a worry isnt it. pleased you’re getting what sounds like the right help. B had to have an inhaler when younger but it was mainly when he had a cough or cold. #KCACOLS

  49. May 17, 2018 / 7:39 am

    I never had Asthma had a kid. On my 21st birthday it had been really warm then there was a storm. I found myself wheezy and struggling to breathe. I went to the doctor the next day who said that the storm had mixed up all the chemicals in the air and affected my breathing and I had a slight case of Asthma. I only ever really suffer when my hayfever is bad and never in the winter months. Usually the brown/blue imhalers help and provide relief. I keep getting letters from the doctors saying I should go in for a asthma check up but because it only affects me a few times a year I haven’t bothered #KCACOLS

  50. May 17, 2018 / 11:23 am

    Fingers crossed things start to improve for him. Poor dude. The mouth should be rinsed after all steroid inhalers to avoid contracting oral thrush also.

    I hope he starts to get some relief from a newer treatment.

    #KCACOLS

  51. May 17, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    We’ve recently had a brush with inhalers when Littlest B got a chest infection that turned nasty – it was so frightening how quickly she went down hill & how quickly inhalers helped her to breathe again #KCACOLS

  52. May 18, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Great post and a really good read for people coming across this for the first time. Asthma is a serious condition and needs to be managed well.
    Mainy
    #KCACOLS

  53. Jennifer
    May 20, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    I’m sure that having asthma is so hard for children. This sounds like a great plan to help them out! 🙂

  54. May 20, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    I love that Lloyd’s Pharmacy offer this service. Asthma is a serious condition and needs to be managed correctly. My niece has it and is 13 now but not as serious as Lewis so it’s good to know the pharmacist will help out with any issues you have. #kcacols

  55. May 20, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    Make sure he rinses his mouth out have his Ventolin too. It will help. I might get my wife to change when she takes her clenil too. Glad you got some good advice. #kcacols

  56. May 20, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    My little one has Asthma, I keep meaning to take him down to get a second opinion on the doses we have been given for him. I had no idea that the pharmacy can give advice, will have to book an appointment. xx

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