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Asthma and Children

There are around 1.1 million children* in the UK who live with asthma, that’s one in every 11 children. However, with good day-to-day management, asthma doesn’t have to hold your child back.

We offer FREE, confidential advice on how to help your child control their symptoms and get the most out of their medicines. The service helps to determine how well your child has managed their medicines and enables us to identify areas for improvement.
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Asthma

Preventer

This opens up their airways over a period of time, and reduces the inflammation in their lungs. To keep your child’s asthma under control, they need to use this inhaler every day.

Reliever

Your child should keep this inhaler with them at all times and use it whenever they experience shortness of breath. It will help open their airways quickly and help them breathe more easily. You should keep a spare inhaler at school in case of emergencies, so ask your GP to prescribe an extra one for them.

Asthma

The allergic triangle what's that?

Did you know you’ll often find that a person with asthma may also have eczema or get hay fever, and vice versa, and the trigger factors for each may be the same?

This is because there’s a link between the conditions – they can all be described as ‘atopic’. It means that people with one atopic condition are more likely to experience what’s known as ‘allergic hypersensitivity reactions’.

If your child has one allergic condition, it may be the only one they ever experience, but they can also often go on to develop further allergies and allergic conditions during childhood. These may overlap, so that they have more than one at a time, or one allergy may ease off as another starts.

Understanding your child's triggers

To help your child better manage their asthma it is important to understand what is causing the symptoms of asthma.

There are lots of things that could trigger it. In some cases it could be obvious what’s causing it but sometimes it could take a little longer to work out. It is important to try and identify a common cause or irritant so that you can help your child avoid it in future and learn how to deal with it.

Triggers can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Extremes of temperature or changes in humidity
  • Pollen, animal dander (shedding from an animal’s skin or fur) and moulds
  • House dust mites
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Pollution in the air
  • Foods
  • Exercise
  • Infection, colds or viruses
Asthma

How to help your child take control

  • Talk to your child about their asthma and encourage them to be involved in managing it.
  • Find out more about your child’s medicines and how they should be taken to get maximum benefit. Your child’s asthma is more likely to be controlled if they’re using their medicines as directed by the GP or asthma nurse.
  • Make sure your child knows how to use their inhaler correctly. Our healthcare team can help you and your child master the technique.
  • Make sure your child uses a spacer with their inhaler.
  • Keep inhalers and spacers clean and dustfree.
  • Make sure your child has an asthma action plan and regular reviews with an asthma nurse or GP.

How you can help them manage asthma at school

  • Make sure the school is aware your child has asthma. The school should have forms for you to complete that detail what medicines they take and when, any specific triggers that they should help your child to avoid, and what the signs of an asthma attack are.
  • Make sure your child has their inhalers with them on any school trips and that all teachers know what to do if they have an asthma attack.
  • If your child’s medicines change in any way, let the school know immediately so they can update their records.
  • Clearly label any medicines sent into school with your child’s name and class, and make sure they’re in date (by keeping a record of their expiry date).
  • Make sure your child understands what they need to do at school if they feel unwell.
Asthma
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*Source: asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics/