Pulmonologist (Pediatric) Questions Childhood Asthma

My 5 year old son was diagnosed with asthma. Are inhalers safe for him at this young age?

My son, who is 5 years old, was just diagnosed with asthma. He was prescribed an inhaler, but I'm a bit nervous about the medication. Is it safe for my young son to start on inhalers at such a young age? Also, are there any other ways I can help safely manage his asthma?

4 Answers

Your first question is a resounding "yes". Generally our goal is to switch most toddlers and children to inhalers with a spacer since it allows a more discreet dose of medication versus a nebulized form. Making sure to utilize the inhalers with the spacer is probably the best way to safely manage his asthma as well as regularly following up with your pediatrician.
Yes. The type, dose, frequency of inhaler use, need to be carefully looked at.
Yes, it is safe to use inhaler at age 5yrs. In fact inhalers are given to patients as young as 2 months old for bronchospasm( tightness in chest due to narrowing of airways). children could also use a nebulizer to give the same medication, if not in an inhaler. you have a choice to pick which way medication could be given. Nebulizer needs an electric outlet to use, inhaler is more portable and does not need to use electricity. Hope this helps.
The main stay for asthma is albuterol inhaler for quick reliif and steroid inhaler for long term control if asthma is persistent. The albuterol can make his heart rate increase but this usually is not a problems in children. The steroid can cause thrush in his mouth so drink something after using it. It is very important that his asthma get under control because children can die from an asthma attack and poorly control asthma can damage their lungs. You can avoid triggers such as smoke pet dander, diffusers, candles but colds pollens,and other environmental pollutions may not be controlled. We prescribe albuterol on very young patients even less than 1 year old. Small children can use the inhaler with a spacer