Wheezing and coughing are very common in children under five years and don’t necessarily indicate a child has asthma. In this age group viral illnesses very commonly cause what we call viral induced wheeze. This refers to the phenomenon of wheeze in the presence of viral illness. There are other issues which can cause wheeze in babies and young children.
As in all cases of wheeze, in pre-school aged children, it is recommended to visit your doctor. They will undertake a thorough examination and determine the most likely diagnosis and course of action.
Asthma reliever medicine given via a metered dose inhaler (MDI) is commonly used to help manage the symptoms of wheeze in pre-school aged children. It is important parents and carers are aware of the correct use of this device. The MDI needs to be used with a spacer and usually a mask, at least until the child is able to follow instructions and use the standard spacer mouthpiece.
Acquaint yourself with these step–by–step instructions in the video below, which the doctor or pharmacist should also explain. Like all medicines for young children, it can be difficult to administer inhaled medicines. Correct delivery relies on the fulfillment of each of the steps. With children the most difficult aspect is avoiding errors related to the loss of the seal between the mask and the child’s face.