I have asthma as does my son. he is 12 now and seems to have grown out of it "knock on wood" I have a 7 month old daughter that I am praying will not have any problems. He was hospitalized 5 times for it. Because I have had it since I was kid I have been through alot of different advancements they have had. The newest thing I have seen is a puffer that is a redish brown color. I don't like it myself. I don't think it works as good as the old ones but apparently these new ones are suppsoed to be "green" I can give you some tips that used to help my son and myself. First of all any sign of a cold needs to be taken care of right away!! The second my son coughs i treat him. Delsom (if i spelt that right) is a great cough medicine. It says it is used for brocitis (didn't spell that right!) but the doctor has prescribed that for him before and so anytime I can hear him getting a chest cold thats what I give him. I use it also and it is wonderful. A steamy bathroom helps. either a run a hot shower or put him in a warm bath. That helps to open the lunges. they say black coffee but I was always chicken to try it although I never acutually thought to try decalf. I always gave my son hot chocolate. Keeping them calm taking deep breaths (some times easier said than done) is helpful also. There are so many things about asthma that doctors don't tell you either becuase they simply don't have time. I hope this helpful and not too much. When they are having a problem don't give them anything cold to eat or drink. It makes it way harder to breath. I never liked humidifiers either but when I was really bad I would sit on the porch and get fresh air. the only problem with all of these is they are temporary. You will probably get a nebulizer which is what they use in the hospital.
I couldn't stand giving my son the steroids either but they work. The long term ones were the ones I really didn't like becaseu they kept him hyper. Honestly I didn't keep him on them for long. I have lots more ideas but if you are interested please feel free to let me know. I can tell you more of what worked really good for us.
You just ahve to be very vigilant in watching for a cold. Another really good thing I found to do, although it will be kinda hard as young as he is, is saline mist in the nose. I keeps the mucas (spelling again!) thin. I use it now to help with allergies and sinus problems. do it every day. It is so hard to see your kid crying when you know all you are doing is helping him!! I used to figure it was better when he was crying because when he took his deep breath he was getting more meds down his lounges. Thats how I got thru it. Good luck.
My 4 year old son has asthma too! He's had it since he was about two. I have to admit in the beginning it consumed my life 24/7 until I got it under control. My son is diagnosed with Moderate/Severe and is on Singulair, Xopenex, albuterol, and advair. The Singulair and Advair are his daily doses and the rest are rescue treatments. My son is having a flare now and today I had to call the doctor to let him know nothing was working out of all these treatments...he had to start steroids. Steroids are a moms worst nightmare when it comes to kids...it makes the kids naughty and SUPER hyper!!! So I feel your pain. I just pray we can get through his episode. I was told though, that when they have it as a young child, they tend to grow out of it.
Good Luck and remember to take one day at a time.