What Can I Do to Help Keep My Lungs Healthy?

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What Can I Do to Help Keep My Lungs Healthy?

We have made the information accessible in age categories as your child grows. Here is some general information and then click on the age category that is relevant for you and your child. You can also visit our resource library to look at other videos, airway clearance sounds and podcasts that might interest you.

Regular airway clearance and physical activity.

Airway clearance and keeping active will help your child’s lungs. These activities can help prevent chest infections.

Airway clearance is an everyday activity, just like brushing your teeth. Try to think of it as lung hygiene, airway cleaning. Even if your child does not have a cough, or large amounts sputum, physiotherapy will help to prevent the build-up of thick and sticky mucus in your lungs. Making sure some physiotherapy is completed each day early in your child’s life will mean it is part of the routine, they will develop useful skills in breathing activities and exercise that will help their health in years to come. Keeping active as a family is a great way to make it part of life and is of health benefit to all family members.

It is expected that there will be times that daily treatment is difficult, and there are resources to help you with this.

Work together with your CF care team. Let them know if you or child is struggling with the treatment program. It is not unusual for this to happen at different ages and stages of development. It can also be impacted by things happening in life not related to CF. So do not worry, it happens. Your care team can then help to explore with you why this might be and develop strategies together to things back on track.  

Some of the physiotherapy techniques recommended are:

  • Airway clearance
  • Inhalation therapy
  • Being active
  • Looking after your posture

Practice good infection control. (link this to the current module in the community site or can we duplicate the page from the community resource so it is also in the CFPhysio 4 Kids section)

Germs are small organisms, that people cannot see, that can make them sick. There are certain practices someone with CF, and also those who hang out with people with CF, can do to help minimise the risk of these germs multiplying in your lungs.

It is important to avoid contact with others if they are unwell, and if you become unwell and still need to care for your child practice good hand hygiene, wiping down surfaces, and cough etiquette.

Avoid smoking around babies and children.

Monitor your health. (link this to the current module in the community site or can we duplicate the page from the community resource so it is also in the CFPhysio 4 Kids section. Also need to obtain the videos from RCH on lung function testing and CXR)

 It is good to keep an eye on your child’s health, this may be just looking at the colour or amount of sputum they produce, or cough up each day; if they don’t have any sputum it might even be their cough that changes, listen to the frequency, if it is wet; or being aware of how active they are, when they are running around at school or out on the sporting field are they keeping up with their friends or is it looking like they are working harder than others, do they get puffed more easily. It is also important to check in with their health care team, and monitor things like lung function, and all the other components of your CF care regularly.

Be mindful of possible complications (may leave this off initially, will need to ensure age specific or appropriate content)

There are some complications in CF that may mean you have to change how you do your physiotherapy or change some of your daily regime. Your physio will discuss these with you.

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