14 Oct Top 3 Tips to help keep your lungs clear!
Encourage your child to do the following exercises regularly to keep their chest clear. These guidelines are general and used as a preventative measure. If your child has fevers and a wet cough, it is best to seek medical advice to allow for an individualized chest physiotherapy program.
1. Taking big breaths to open the airways.
Taking big breaths will open up the lungs, prevent lung collapse and allow any secretions to come out. School age children will easily take big breathes on command, but the younger children may not do so. Encourage your child to take big breathes by playing blowing games, such as blowing feathers and keeping it up in the air, blowing at windmills and blowing bubbles into a cup of water using a straw.
2. Huffing to shift any secretions.
When the lungs are open, we need to huff to shift any secretions out from the bottom of the lungs. Huffing is taking a big breath through your nose and then blowing out hard and fast through your mouth, keeping it wide open. Just like fogging a mirror on a cold day. Hold a mirror or tissue in front of your child’s mouth and get them to huff into it to fog the mirror or to blow the tissue away. Huffing will bring any secretions into the bigger airways so that we can cough it out.
3. Coughing to clear any secretions.
Good huffing will cause you to cough automatically if you have secretions in your chest. If your child does not cough automatically because their huff is not effective, then encourage them to cough strongly. It doesn’t matter if you cough and spit out the secretions or you cough and swallow it. Most children under 5 years old will not know how to spit.