Children’s Health Asthma

More than a million children in the UK (that’s one in 11) are currently receiving treatment for asthma

Asthma
More than a million children in the UK (that’s one in 11) are currently receiving treatment for asthma, according to the charity Asthma UK. When properly managed with effective medication, asthma should result in no major ongoing symptoms in kids.
1. Ensure you have an up-to-date asthma plan
The best way to look after your child’s asthma and cut their risk of an asthma attack is to make sure they’re using an up-to-date written asthma action plan. Your child’s asthma plan will tell you when they need to take their medicines, and what to do if their asthma gets worse. An asthma plan will be created by your GP and will be personalised to your child’s own triggers, symptoms and medication.
2. Have frequent asthma reviews
Children are advised to have an asthma review with their GP or asthma nurse once every six months. Parents and guardians should take their child for a check-up if there is a new pet or a new house or environment. Look out for worsening symptoms, which include exercise-induced coughs and coughing at night.
3. Consider whether your child needs to use a ‘spacer’
A spacer is an add-on device, making it easier for kids to inhale the medication, helping to get the medicine into their lungs. The action of exhaling, while activating the inhaler at the same time as inhaling deeply, takes a lot of practise. The spacer device provides a holding chamber for the medication so the child can inhale it properly.
4. Ensure your child knows the symptoms of their asthma
Asthma symptoms are caused by inflammation and narrowing of the small airways in the lungs, making it difficult to get air in or out of the lungs. The narrowing of the airways often causes a tight chest, wheezy breathing and coughing, which children with asthma experience, particularly at night. If you are worried about your child displaying new or frequent symptoms then take them for a check-up. Parents should also make sure their child understands the symptoms of their asthma and its triggers, such as pets, change in weather or exercise.
5. Always have an inhaler on hand
Have a specific place in the house for the inhaler, where everyone knows it is kept, and always keep it there. Make sure this place is easily accessible, but out of reach of other young children. Label your child’s inhaler and consider a protective bag or cover if your child is old enough to carry the inhaler themselves.
6. In event of an asthma attack
If you are at all concerned that your child is having an asthma attack then you should use the reliever inhaler at double dose, and call your GP or the emergency services as soon as possible. Delays cost lives.
For more information, call the Asthma UK helpline on 0300 222 5800, or log on to www.asthma.org.uk