Asthma 101: Teaching Your Child To Respond To Asthma AttacksFitness Gear & Equipment
There is only one way to get asthma or a blocked nose and that is because you are breathing like an elephant. You are not an elephant, and your body will try to stop you from breathing so much.
Your nose may block up, and make your lungs get wheezy, and you may feel stuff in your lungs and want to cough.
If your child nose becomes completely blocked, then the Steps exercise should be done until it is clear enough to breathe through. Usually only one set is needed. The key is to ensure that breathing is only through the nose after the steps [like a mouse].
If the breathing is elephant-like ó the nose will just block up again. If it does, then repeat the steps. If it is only partially blocked, then ask the child to just breath like a mouse, and try to make it clear. With practice they will soon be able to unblock nose with just breathing.
If the symptoms of asthma occur, tightness, wheeze or cough occur ó remember the elephant and the mouse. Reinforce the statement with your child that the only way to get asthma is to first breathe like an........ [Elephant]. To make it go away you just breathe like a little mouse ..... [turn palm up] through your ........[point to nose!]
If your child begins to cough then you must teach them how to cough through their nose. Have a little practice with them. When they feel a tickle in their throat, instead of coughing with their mouth, they should firstly try to just ignore it, but if they have to then cough via nose. This is more like an 'AH-HRRM' or throat clearing before a speech.
At the same time reinforce again the mouse breathing. If you do not allow yourself to cough, then the urge to cough will simply go away. If you do allow the coughing cycle to start 'it will get worse and worse' as the deep breathing causes more and more CO2 to be lost will cause the production of more and more mucus.
To cough a lot you must breathe like a big..........Elephant. On occasions with smaller children, they may say to you that they cannot stop the cough. Here you must be firm if you want them to become free of the cycle. They are simply not allowed to cough. [Yell if you must, but it is usually better to do more closed mouth coughing practice.] Obviously also explain that they can cough if they are choking on something.
If you notice a post nasal drip, which is fluid running down the back of your throat, then the procedure is the same. Mouse breathing first, and if that does not stop it, then do steps until it has stopped.
Same applies to itchy nose and eyes. If you see your child doing the 'allergic salute', pushing on their nose because it is itchy, explains again that they have been breathing like a big ......elephant! Itchy eyes might be gently rinsed [eyes closed!] with cool clean water, followed by mouse breathing.
Finger Under the Nose
It is very useful to use your finger for feedback on the depth of your breathing. The more gentle and passive, the better. When you ask your child to check their breathing [even teenagers] ensure they use their finger under their noses. The other feedback is any noise created by breathing. If you or they can hear a 'wheeze' try and make it silent. If there is whistle because a nose is partially blocked, then they should breathe like a mouse so that it cannot be heard. In both of these cases if you reduce breathing depth you will soon stop the wheeze and unblock the nose. If it does not then a series of steps should be done.