My name is Kym Latter. I’m an Australian mum and founder of Asthma Peeps. My asthma journey is about educating myself as much as I can about childhood asthma so that I can help my daughter and other children like her, accept their condition in an open, fun and positive way.
One of the biggest hurdles to maintaining our daughter’s “manageable” asthma was the equipment. Her preventative asthma medication included daily use of an inhaler, spacer and nasal spray. They were large, they were obvious medical-style contraptions and they singled her out at school. We began to argue about when she should take her medication, how often and how public it would be.
I admit that to avoid family “school morning” drama, we became less strict. We decreased the asthma medication to an “emergency” response, rather than an everyday activity. She seemed fine, she had no symptoms and we avoided arguments.
In autumn 2012, our daughter had a severe cold. Through the night she began to cough, her skin took on a bluish hue, she told us she was scared. Then she started having serious trouble breathing. We spent three days in hospital in the most horrible of situations.
The truth is hard for us to say even now — If only we’d continued with her preventative asthma medications, this probably wouldn’t have happened.
Thanks to tireless doctors and nurses, our little girl came out of hospital with air in her lungs.
Rather than get stuck in our guilt (as parents, we feel enough of that already), we wanted to find a solution. For us it was ensuring she took her preventers by making her medication a bit more fun. We put little eyes on her puffer and cute stickers on her inhaler. This simple technique helped her and evolved into the Asthma Peeps characters. They mean a lot to us as they were designed to reflect our daughter’s personality. She is a happy girl, unique, vibrant and bright. She loves silliness and she very much loves stickers.
We are no longer flexible about her asthma medication. We changed our thinking and her asthma management became part of our family life.
Since then I’ve been challenging myself and our family to help others facing life with asthma. We’ve designed stickers to take the mundane out of asthma medication. We’re trying to spread the word to parents of children with asthma through our blog and children’s book. Education is so important for parents, schools and children themselves. Equally as important is encouraging all of those affected by asthma to have the confidence to ask questions about asthma, to learn more and to take control. That’s why forums like this are so special, a community of voices sharing their asthma experience. Thanks to Sound Asthma for inviting us to join in.
Kym lives in Australia and is the founder of Asthma Peeps http://www.asthmapeeps.com . Kym is passionate about making asthma fun for young children, so they embrace their asthma medication and management. Through Asthma Peeps Kym provides a platform for parents to discuss asthma with their children in an open, fun and positive way. She writes a blog with tips and information to help understand childhood asthma better. She has created child-friendly animated videos about asthma and has recently published a children’s book about asthma called “The Trouble With Bear Hugs”. Both Kym and her six year old daughter suffer from asthma.
Find Kym at Website: http://www.asthmapeeps.com / Blog: http://www.asthmapeeps.com/blog / Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AsthmaPeepsAU