Bringing up a child with CF can raise many questions because CF affects many aspects of your and your child’s life. CFWA is here to support you and your family with a range of services as outlined below.

Please get in touch with our Services team via email services@cfwa.org.au or on 08 6224 4100 if you would like to know more about our services and support.

Airway Clearance

Airway clearance, or chest physiotherapy, is needed to remove thick, sticky mucus from the lungs to prevent lung damage. It is usually started as soon as your child is diagnosed with CF and continues twice a day on an ongoing basis. Toddlers and young children can be particularly challenging when it comes to airway clearance, which is why it is so important to create a good routine from a young age. CFWA also have various support programs to assist with airway clearance routines at home.

Community Support Worker Program

In WA we have a Community Support Worker (CSW) service to enable ongoing support in the home with airway clearance and exercise routines. Our CSWs receive intensive training by CFWA’s health professionals to provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to supervise treatments safely and effectively.

To read more about airway clearance for children, have a read of the following factsheets:

Useful External Resources


Exercise is a key part of CF treatment, with benefits to lung function, strength and fitness levels.

Exercise Support

We can support your child to live an active lifestyle with the following programs:

  • Our Family Support Subsidy can be accessed annually to help with the costs associated with sporting fees or physio/exercise equipment.
  • Community Support Workers can assist with goal setting, motivation and assistance with exercise, with a program specifically developed for them by their hospital care team.

Useful External Resources


Diet plays a very important role in the management of CF. In fact, nutrition is so important that a healthy body weight can be linked to better lung function.

We cover this topic in detail on our Nutrition for Children page.

Medications & Procedures


Having CF means your child will be on lots of different medications. Common medications include enzymes, bronchodilators, mucolytics, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, salt and vitamins.

These medications may be given orally, intravenously, inhaled through a nebuliser or other inhalation device.

For more detailed information about CF medications, check out our factsheets on:

Pill Swallowing

Learning to swallow tablets can be difficult for children. Our OT can work one-on-one with your child using positive reinforcement techniques to help them learn to swallow tablets. Your child will also receive a fun certificate and prize once successful, as a reward for their hard work.

Useful External Resources


There may be times where your child will need to undergo certain procedures.

We have the following factsheets available on some common procedures:

Useful External Resources

Infection Prevention & Control

Thick, sticky mucus can build up in the lungs of people with CF, allowing germs to thrive and multiply and lead to infections. Germs can spread either by direct (person-to-person) or indirect (surfaces) contact, or by air.

Fortunately, there are steps that people with CF, their families and caregivers can take to reduce the risk of germs including good hand hygiene, following cross-infection guidelines, avoiding people who are unwell and adhering to the National Immunisation Program.

Resources for Children

Good Clean Hands is a 3-minute video suitable for children aged 3-8, all about hand washing and ways to minimise spreading germs.

Useful External Resources

Comorbidities & Complications

Some children with CF will experience co-morbidities or complications associated with having CF. These may include Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD), incontinence, bone weakness and more.

Useful External Resources

Emotional Wellbeing

Parent Wellbeing

If you or your partner are struggling, our psychosocial team can provide support and links to further support as needed.

Child Wellbeing

If you think your child is struggling with any aspect of CF, you can get a referral to the social worker or psychologist at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH). You can also contact our psychosocial team for more support.

Procedural Anxiety

Procedural anxiety is common among children with CF and there are many resources to help you support your child during an admission or procedure. Comfort positioning, distraction techniques, breathing techniques and more are all great ways to minimise stress for your child.

KKind (Keeping Kids in No Distress) is a program at PCH designed to minimise trauma, anxiety and distress caused by illness, injury and being in hospital. Contact them to find out more information.

Useful External Resources

Behavioural Support

Occupational Therapy

Let’s face it, there is no guidebook for parenting. Every child is different and having a child with CF adds extra complexity and stress. CFWA offer one-on-one support and guidance with our experienced paediatric Occupational Therapist, Mel.

Mel can help you and your child with:

  • Developing routines
  • Calming and de-escalation techniques
  • Meal and bedtime assistance
  • Behaviour management techniques
  • Consistent parenting
  • Positive communication

Here are some tips from Mel for basic strategies you can implement at home to help your child:

Clinic & Hospital


Regular reviews are crucial for timely detection and prevention of complications. Routine reviews are conducted three monthly, but more frequent, tailored reviews may be needed when unwell.

The CF team have put together this factsheet, Monitoring Children with CF, which details the routine and annual reviews that families can expect.

They recommend bringing the following along to clinic appointments:

  1. List of required medications
  2. Physiotherapy equipment including a sachet of Hypertonic Saline and Ventolin if your child uses this for physiotherapy
  3. Sputum sample from the day of your clinic appointment

You should feel confident to speak with any member of the CF team about any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s health.

Sputum Samples

Children should get a sputum sample to Pathwest 4 times a year. These samples help detect and identify bacteria, viruses and fungi that may be found in your child’s lungs and allows for best treatment. Children on modulator drugs still grow bugs even without having lots of sputum, if any.

Watch our collaborative video with PCH, How to Catch Your Frogs to help your child learn how to produce a sputum sample:

Useful External Resources


Most children with CF will require a hospital admission at some stage. Although it may seem overwhelming, hospital admissions are essential to your child’s health and can deliver significant benefits.

First Hospital Admission

If you are preparing for your child’s first admission you might like to read the following factsheet:

We also have our My First Admission videos (please note that some of the information will be outdated since the opening of the new children’s hospital).

CFWA offer support during admissions including:

  • An inpatient Hospital Bag with lots of age-appropriate, fun items delivered by a member of the CFWA services team. Let us know when you’re in.
  • Hospital Snack Packs are available on the ward. Please ask a nurse to receive yours.
  • Travel and parking subsidy for hospital appointments and admissions.

PCH recommend bringing the following to hospital during admissions:

  1. List of your child’s current medication
  2. Physiotherapy equipment including all nebuliser pots
  3. Nebuliser units, if they are due for servicing
  4. Enclosed/running shoes
  5. Gym clothes
  6. Drink bottle
  7. Comfort items i.e toys, blankets, books etc.

Useful External Resources


Transition is the process of moving your child’s care from PCH to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH). The time at which your child transitions is a group decision made by you, your child and the medical team. It usually happens at 18 years of age, however it might happen earlier or later, depending on how ready your child is.

We can help you through the process by taking you and your child on a tour of SCGH to see the ward and meet with the CF care team. Transition can be an anxious time, so being prepared and understanding of the process can really help. Contact our services team on services@cfwa.org.au for further support or information.

Useful External Resources

School & Daycare

Our CFSmart education program is a free resource for teachers and educators to improve understanding of CF in an education setting. It includes free e-Learning modules for teachers/educators as well as downloadable resources. Our Education Coordinator can work with parents to develop a CF Action Plan with detailed information about the individual needs of your child at school or daycare. We are able to provide further support to the school/daycare if required.

School Resources

Factsheets for teachers and educators are available on the CFSmart website.


Travel takes planning, however travelling with a child with CF can involve extra organisation to ensure the trip goes smoothly. Our travelling with Children factsheet provides information on reciprocal health care agreements, travel insurance, health preparation, medications, eating, drinking and cross-infection, links to useful resources and suggestions for travel activities. Our Social Worker may also be able to provide advice around insurance, please contact 08 6224 4100 for more information.

Useful External Resources

General Health

Read More
Children’s Books

Discover inpsiring tales and fun adventures with our collection of children’s book about cystic fibrosis. We think kids and adults alike will love them. Learn…

Nutrition for Children Webpage

Check out our hub of nutrition information for parents of children with CF. It contains a huge range of topics including: Check it out here.

Trikafta TGA Extension for 2-5 Years

Exciting developments have unfolded this week, with the confirmation that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have given approval for the expanded use of Trikafta to…

Celebrating Connor and the 2023 Little Telethon Stars

Each year, ambassadors are selected to represent Western Australian children who are supported by the money raised through Telethon. Telethon’s awesome foursome for 2023 includes…

CF Parents Connect Playgroup

CF Parents Connect is an online playgroup and parent support group for parents of pre-school aged children, 0-5 years, with CF. The program hopes to…

Circle of Security Parenting Program

Our Family and Child Therapist, Mel, offers parenting support and is a trained facilitator of the Circle of Security Program, designed to support and strengthen…

2024 © Cystic Fibrosis Western Australia Privacy Policy | Refund & Delivery Policy | ABN: 19 156 339 182