And it’s pretty scary, actually. We had been taking Mr 2 back to the doctor on a seemingly weekly basis. It wasn’t actually weekly, but that’s what it felt like. Constant coughing that turned into wheezing, that sometimes turned into heavy, laboured breathing where his poor little ribs sucked in and out.
It started about September last year. Initially it was croup – meaning a steroid dose was taken. The next month, we were away on the Great Ocean Road for a weekend, and his breathing became wheezy and his ribs were working hard. So we called the Lorne hospital and they recommended we come in. It was a Saturday evening of a long weekend, and we had never needed to take the kids to an emergency department before. And we weren’t in Lorne, we were probably 25 minutes further on the winding ocean road. That had Mr 2 vomiting with car sickness the day before. Awesome.
So we headed in, with Ms 3 happily bunked in with friends in their cabin. I was, of course, completely anxious the whole way there – was he going to spew on the way, was his breathing going to get worse, was Ms 3 ok with us leaving her when it was night and we were in a strange place. Naturally, he didn’t spew, slept the whole way there and Ms 3 had an awesome time with the big girls! When we got to the ED, the staff was great. Saw us straight away and were lovely. They monitored him for a bit, gave him a dose of steroids and diagnosed bronchiolitis. Rest and fluids, and get another course of steroids for him.
Over the months since, we’ve been back to the GP at least five times with similar symptoms – particularly the wheezing and coughing. Each time leaving with redipred and ventolin, and sometimes antibiotics, but no diagnosis. When kids are under two, there is a reluctance to diagnose asthma, mainly because they can ‘grow’ out of it. Their airways are small and more sensitive to inflammation. So they wait a bit and see if the symptoms will ease off. That’s my understanding.
We had started considering going to a different GP, to push for a bit more assessment. He had turned 2 at the start of the year and it was still happening. Around March, he was wheezy AGAIN. Of course it came on later in the day and I only managed to get an appointment at about ten to five and with a different GP. I got in to the clinic, with Ms 3 and Mr 2 managing to climb all over every inch of the waiting room and the GP’s room. They cannot sit still when we are in a GP’s office!
Well, this one was awesome. She read the file, listened to what I was saying and assessed Mr 2’s presentation. “It is asthma” she pronounced and proceeded to instruct me to take him to the local emergency department for assessment. Wait, what? She was concerned that he needed a thorough assessement that she couldn’t do at this stage of the day. He needed to be monitored over a three hour period, to assess his breathing and his response to medication.
So off we went to the local emergency department. The Mister had just got home from work, so he met us there. Luckily, it went fairly well. We didn’t have to wait hours and hours. Saying that, whislt we were waiting, his breathing worsened and we heard that real rattling, whistle type breath for the first time. That wasn’t great.
He was assessed and monitored and sent home with ventolin and spacers and instructions to see the GP, having responded well to the ventolin. And that was how we found out our child has asthma. Since then, we have had an appointment with the nurse at the GP’s to develop an Asthma Management Plan and to learn a little more about asthma. That appointment really bought home to me how serious asthma is. We don’t have it in our family and neither does The Mister. So I’ve never really been exposed to it. The nurse made it clear that it can and does kill children when not managed properly. Scared the bejeesus out of me. So now he is on preventer medication, morning and night, with the plan to reassess once we are through winter. For Mr 2, coughs and colds appear to be a trigger, so winter can be a difficult period. And we carry ventolin, spacer and mask with us all the time, in case an attack flares up.
Luckily, the younger kids are when they’re first diagnosed, the more likely they seem to grow out of it. Fingers crossed that happens for us too. He’s been travelling well so far through winter, with only a few episodes of needing ventolin, usually when he has had a particularly severe cold/cough.
Did you know there is an Asthma First Aid Plan? I didn’t, I had no idea. Click through if you are interested in knowing more about it. It’s simple and straight forward, and good to know if you’re with someone who appears to be having an attack.
How about you? Do you or your child have asthma? Was it a surprise, or does it run in your family? Let me know, I’d be keen to hear (read!) your experience.
Here are some more links you may find useful:
- The Asthma Buddy App – great for slightly older kids learning to manage their asthma.
- The National Asthma Council Australia – lots of information for those with asthma, or caring for someone with asthma, for professionals and for media.
- Asthma Australia – again, has lots of information and links to state/territory specific sites.
Today the kids had their first Easter Egg Hunt of the season. They had a ball! A lovely friend organised it, and graciously invited 10 small and not so small kids into her home to find and devour chocolate. Did I mention she is brave? The house was decorated with lots of gorgeous Easter themed pretties, and the bigger kids even did some Easter craft. So Ms 3 managed to get her hit today, without me having to pull out the craft box – win win!
And then the kids were let loose on the backyard, and everyone managed to find sufficiently equal amounts of eggs to keep everyone happy.
And the big kids made sure the little kids had enough, which was lovely. With minimal prompting from the grown ups.
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Did you know, that in Australia each year 260 children die and 58,000 children are hospitalized from accidental injuries? These are big numbers! Would you know how to help a child who was unconscious and not breathing? That’s what the people at KidzAid want to know. I have vague memories of my first aid training, pre-children, and I keep putting a paediatric first aid course on my to-do list. I still haven’t completed one.
Here are some more stats for you. For every minute that CPR is not performed when needed, the chance of the child’s survival decreases by 10%. After 4 minutes without oxygen, your child can suffer irreversible brain damage. That’s scary stuff. So basically, what happens in the first five minutes holds the key to saving their life. Five minutes is not enough time to allow professional help to arrive.
We therefore need more people of all ages who are trained and willing to provide immediate CPR to our kids, while waiting for help to arrive. And that’s where KidZaid Paediatric First Aid Training comes in. And to highlight the issue, and raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, the KidZaid team will convert the Palladium at Crown Melbourne into a large training centre, and offer training to parents and families, and break a world record at the same time! There will family fun day activities; celebrity CPR challenges, jumping castles, roving princesses and superheroes, toddler playzone and more.
We’ll be there – it should be a great day! We’ve never gone into the city on Good Friday and with all the family oriented activities happening with the Good Friday Appeal, it should be a really fun day. And I’m so pleased this opportunity to learn paediatric first aid has arisen, and in a way that provides support to the excellent Royal Children’s Hospital.
Details: Entry is free, with a $5 registration fee to complete the CPR training (all proceeds to the Good Friday Appeal). To make this even easier, there is a special $15 family CPR registration price, that allows parents to take advantage of the opportunity to have all the important adults in their child’s life trained for one low cost. Training sessions will run hourly throughout the day and to secure your spot, register today at www.cprchallenge.com.au. Check out the website for more information and follow along with the CPR Challenge on facebook, & twitter.
Tell me, have you completed a paediatric first aid training? Is it up-to-date? Are you going to attend the CPR Challenge?
Victoria had a long weekend recently, so we took advantage and headed up the mountain for a picnic lunch. We live a stones throw from Mount Dandenong, and it is such a beautiful place to live. We decided to head to the Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens, in Sassafras. I have never been there before, which is amazing, given I grew up in the area!
So we drove up the mountain, winding our way past the huge line of cars and people who had decided to visit the Dandenong Ranges National Park and, I’m assuming, the 1000 steps Kokoda Memorial Trail. Yep, you heard right, the 1000 steps. Have you been there? It is a three km 1.5 hour return walk, that was created in the early 1900’s and was adopted by Victoria Veterans of the Kokoda campaign (WW2). Apparently, the walk is very similar to the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. People were parked for miles up the road!
We kept going though, and found ourselves at the lovely Alfred Nicholas Gardens. They’re amazing, and we didn’t even get to see the majority of them. Because, you know, small children. We took a picnic and a pram, but the next time we go, I would not take the pram and I would pack the picnic in a back pack. The paths are great, and if you need a pram, they are definitely suitable, but it would have been easier without I think. Unfortunately they were draining the lake for maintenance when we visited, but there was still a lot to see. Ms 3 insisted we would find fairies, and took along her wings to help the search.
The paths lead down to the lake, and to a boat house, and to a fabulous large space, where the kids just wanted to run and run. They found a ‘fairy’ tree, they were amazed by the size of the trees and it was just so wonderfully quiet and peaceful. Just gorgeous.
If you’re in Melbourne, and haven’t been, I recommend making the drive up the mountain. Especially now, as we head into Autumn. The colours are always amazing this time of year, and I think we’ll be taking another trip soon. Plus, all that walking tuckered out the little ones!
Do you like to take breaks in your own backyard? Tell me about it!
*I received an ASG Little Learner Pack in order to complete this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*
Have your little one’s started school or kinder this week? How are you feeling – anxious, proud, relieved?! Our Ms 3 starts three year old kinder this week, and BOY is she excited. For the past five days she has appeared next to my bed in the mornings declaring it is kinder day, and wanting me to get up. She’s very gorgeous 😉
This will be our first year parenting in the world formal education. So I thought, why not start a series about it. With tips, hints, resources, product reviews etc that might just be helpful to other parents out there, new or otherwise. I think I’ll call it The Kinder Files.
To kick the series off, I’ve got a review of ASG’s Little Learner Pack. When I was offered the opportunity to do this review, it was perfect timing, having just started planning this little series. So let’s start with the nuts and bolts. The Little Learner Pack comes to you from ASG. ASG is focused on supporting children’s education – it’s all they do. They’re typically known for their educational funds, however this pack is an example of the educational resources they provide.
The pack contains the following:
- The Cat in the Hat DVD
- five hardcover children’s books from highly regarded education consultant, Michael E Bernard, featuring stories on how to get along, confidence, resilience, being organised and persistence
- a membership to MY ASG, an ever-expanding source of articles and resources from parenting experts
- discounted access to Parentingideas Club, an online parenting centre founded by Michael Grose – one of Australia’s leading parenting experts
- discounts on CDs and DVDs distributed by Marcom Projects, ASG’s multimedia educational products division
- discounted health insurance with MediGUARD Health Cover, provided by Australian Unity
The pack is targeted to pre-school kids, up to about six years of age, and contains $180 worth of products. I’m really impressed with this pack. Of course, MS 3 loves the DVD – Dr Seuss has been a hit in our household ever since we started reading to her, when she was just a wee bubba. I love that she loves Dr Seuss stories. They are such fun to read. But the books have also been a great hit with her. I thought they may have been a little ‘old’ for her – they’re stories about things like getting along, being organised and persistence, but she loves them. She loves the story about getting along, all about Sally learning that other people’s feelings matter, and she loves the one about Lucy and her dream to play the violin. Given that she is starting kinder, I really think these books will be a lovely way to talk with her about these subjects. The fact that she keeps suggesting them at bedtime is a pretty good indicator that they’re a-ok 🙂
Something that I think is going to be of great benefit is not only the MY ASG membership but the discount to the Parentingideas Club. MY ASG provides articles and resources aimed at supporting children’s education. The subjects covered span from toddler tantrums to teaching children about social media and safety. The Parentingideas Club provides support, information and resources covering age appropriate parenting strategies. I think I’ll be signing up for this ASAP! I’m finding this current stage of development with Ms 3 to be “challenging”, and the Parentingideas Club covers parenting styles, birth order of children, sibling matters and a whole lot more. It looks to be a fabulous resource, for parents with children of all ages.
If you think any of this sounds like it could be of use to you and your family, head on over to the ASG site here, where you can purchase ASG’s Little Learner Pack. It costs $49.95 and has over $180 worth of material and resources.
As an added bonus, check out the competition ASG are running – you could win a share of $15,000 to put towards your child’s education. Enter here.
If you decide to purchase ASG’s Little Learner Pack, or are already a MY ASG member, let me know! I’d love to know what you think. And I can’t wait to develop this little series further – let me know if you have any topics you think would be useful and I’ll see what I can do 🙂
ASG website: http://www.asg.com.au
Linking up with Mamma Raj Says #reviewroundup
Welcome to my first post for 2015! How was your festive season? I hope it was lovely, and filled with relaxation and joy. We had a lovely time – The Mister had three whole weeks off, and we managed to celebrate Christmas, my birthday,the New Year and the Mr 2’s birthday along with a little trip away and some laundry DIY – phew! More on those in a few later posts.
For 2015, I’m taking some active steps for inspiration and organisation – both for here on the blog, and in ‘real’ life. Here at Tully & Mishka, I’m going to be using the beautiful and super useful Blogger’s Bazaar 2015 Blog Planner. Have you seen it? So much organisation! Hopefully, it will help me with some more regular blogging, and moving Tully & Mishka in the direction I would like it to (I have lots of plans in my head!!!). Also, this weekend, I’m going to the Kid’s Business Bloggers BBQ. Anyone else going – would love to catch up!
In the ‘real’ life department, Ms 3 starts kinder this year! It’s three year old kinder – her birthday is in May, so she will be one of the older kids. She is soooooooo ready for kinder! And so am I, just quietly 🙂 I plan to blog a bit about this coming transition. So 2015 brings busy times. So organisation is really an over-arching goal for me this year. Life is about to become very busy!
Tell me, any big plans for you this year? Does anyone have their first, or last, starting kinder?
* This is a sponsored post. I received tickets to the opening night for myself and my family *
It’s 10 Friday’s until Christmas. Holy smokes, I don’t even know how the year has gone so quickly! Have you started planning? We haven’t, well not really. I mean, we’ve worked out where and when we are having Christmas dinners – one of them is at our house! Yikes, I really need to start planning!
It’s exciting, Christmas at our house. Ms 3.5 is now old enough to get it. She knows there will be a Santa visit, and that there will be presents and fun. And that makes it so much more exciting for us. Mr nearly 2 doesn’t get it yet, but he will love the tree decorating when we do it. And they are going to LOVE Santa’s Magical Kingdom. And I mean, flip their lids kind of love!
Have you been? We haven’t. But we’ve heard good things. It runs from 15th November until 23rd December and is being held at the Caulfield Racecourse. Frankly, it looks amazing fun! According to the information I have received, there be the following:
A magical Christmas walk-through wonderland
• Snow Castle and Activity Land
• Meet Santa and receive a free gift!
• A spectacular brand new Christmas themed circus show
• Roving Christmas characters
• A Christmas craft area where you can decorate your own gingerbread man and decorate your own Christmas decoration
• Interactive story reading with Mrs Claus
• Gingerbread land
• Amusement Rides and laughing clowns including a carousel, Santa’s Slay Ride, Ferris Wheel, Platform Ride and Australia’s Largest Super Slide!
Check out the website, it has more information. And tickets are currently on sale.
So now for the giveaway! You can win a family pass (tickets for 4, worth $130) to the opening weekend! Woo! All you need to do is comment on this blog post, and tell me, what is your favourite part of Christmas? I’ll get the Mister to choose which comment he likes the most! Also fill in the widget below. Comp ends 9th November and I will email the winner.