Airway Clearance

Airway Clearance

Airway clearance is encouraged to be incorporated into everyday family life. It is important to work together with your physiotherapist to decide what works best for you and your child.

Your physiotherapist will introduce different treatment techniques as your child develops.

As your child develops during this age stage they will be experiencing more demands in life with school, peer involvement, and extra activities.  

Working together with your child, and your child’s physiotherapist to understand their lungs, and to develop confidence in a number of airway clearance techniques is important. It can be helpful to talk to your child about having a “toolbox” to manage their health. This can be filled with different airway clearance techniques and activities they can use depending on how their lungs feel that day, but also how it will fit in best with what else they have on that day. Some children might prefer to have a “set” routine, with less flexibility and more rigid routines. It has to work for you and your child. 

Things to consider when developing a toolbox might include consideration of age and ability, motivation, time available, current health status, previous adverse events, and cost or accessibility to equipment. 

Remember to talk to your physiotherapists about options to combine the treatment techniques, exercise, airway clearance and inhalation therapy as this might be a way to optimise adherence with treatment. 

There are some helpful links in this section to a variety of airway clearance devices and techniques that your physiotherapist may introduce to you and your child when the time is right. Use these resources if you are unsure, or want to be reminded of the technique. 

Just like brushing our teeth, airway clearance is encouraged every day. Your child might not need to cough during the session, they may not even experience any changes in their breathing and that is ok. The treatment is still helpful and doing something regularly will help maintain healthy lungs. 

When you clean your teeth you don’t see large chunks of plaque fall into the sink, but if you don’t clean your teeth regularly then when you visit the dentist they can see gradual damage over time. 

Airway clearance is the same for your child’s lungs. It is a daily clean of the airways to keep the bugs away. 


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