Reference Handling the challenges of caring for a child who has cystic fibrosis can be difficult. It is normal to feel overwhelmed by how hard it is and how much time it takes to care for a child who has a long-term, life-shortening illness. Reference Counseling Opens New Window or Reference support groups can help you deal with your feelings, as can educating yourself about the disease. Take good care of yourself, physically and emotionally, so that you can give your child with cystic fibrosis the best care possible.
Home treatment is a very important part of treating cystic fibrosis. Home treatment can make a person with cystic fibrosis feel better and live longer. If a treatment is skipped, the child may not feel any worse right away, but he or she has an increased chance of having more serious problems later. Even though it can be challenging to follow a home treatment plan every day, there are many benefits of home treatment. Specifically, home treatment can help:
- Clear Reference mucus Opens New Window from the lungs.
- Prevent infection.
- Improve nutrition.
- Increase the child's energy level.
Airway clearance techniques
Health professionals, parents, siblings, or other caregivers can perform airway clearance techniques on a child who has cystic fibrosis. Teens and adults with cystic fibrosis can learn to do these techniques themselves.
- Reference Postural drainage and chest percussion. Drainage and percussion help unstick mucus from the lungs so that it can be coughed out. For specific instructions, see:
- Deep breathing exercises. These breathing techniques help you exhale more completely by strengthening the stomach muscles used for breathing. Your health professional or Reference respiratory therapist Opens New Window can teach you or your child how to do these exercises.
- Directed cough. Directed coughing is a specific pattern of breathing and coughing that helps clear mucus from the lungs. Your health professional or respiratory therapist can teach you or your child how to do these exercises.
- Reference Alternate methods of airway clearance that use machines or other devices to help get rid of mucus
Improving nutrition and energy
- Eat Reference nutritious, high-calorie foods.
- Reference Exercise.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Add salt to foods, especially during hot weather.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 12, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology