Self-Care for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Self-Care for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you have a child diagnosed with cystic fibrosis one of the most important steps you can take is to learn all you can about the disease. The good news is with the Internet you are able to find multiple sites to give you the information you need. You can track recent developments in treating the disease and be instantly notified of any breaking news. Educate yourself about nutrition, medication, treatment and how to recognize infections early.

Self-Care for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

 

Having a child with cystic fibrosis is stressful, especially if you are the primary caregiver and need to give your child daily chest percussion. The child should have the treatment at least twice a day and for a thirty minute period of time. Learning how to perform chest percussion could potentially save your child’s life. A doctor or respiratory therapist will help you learn the procedure.

 

Keeping your child healthy and caring for them includes keeping their immunizations up-to-date. Normal vaccines should be given on their appropriate schedule and you should consider having your child vaccinated for flu and pneumonia. Cystic fibrosis does not affect the immune system but when a child gets sick they may have more complications than a healthy child.

 

Your child should be encouraged to lead a normal life. They can take part in sports events and regular physical activity. Exercise will help loosen the mucus in the lungs and airways and improve your heart and lung functions. A child with cystic fibrosis may gain self-confidence and have a better self-esteem if they can take part in a team sport. If a cystic fibrosis patient starts exercising when they are young they are more apt to exercise when older. Simple exercise such as walking, riding a bike or swimming can help. Anything that gets you moving will help loosen the thick mucus build up.

 

Eating a healthy diet is important for all cystic fibrosis patients. Increasing your caloric intake, taking vitamin supplements that are fat-soluble, and taking pancreatic enzymes can help you stay healthier. Drinking plenty of liquids is another self-care tip you should know. The liquid will help thin the mucus and special care should be taken in the summer when the body lose fluids easily.

 

If you are a smoker, stop smoking! If you are unable to do that, don’t smoke in your car, your home, and do not allow your child to be with people who smoke. Second hand smoke is bad for everyone but especially for those who have cystic fibrosis. Avoid places that will be smoky as much as possible.

 

Encourage good hygiene habits for everyone in your family. Teaching your family to wash their hands before eating, after they use the bathroom, or if they have been in a public place. Encouraging hand washing is the best way to avoid infections that may turn into severe complications for a cystic fibrosis patient. Especially encourage hand washing when a child comes home from school, or an adult comes home from work.

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