Your child’s asthma… Helping you to take control

In the UK, around 1.1 million children have asthma – that’s something like 1 in 11 children.* The good news is that by taking control of the condition, you can significantly reduce your child’s asthma symptoms and help them to enjoy all the activities that children without asthma take part in. * Asthma UK

So what is asthma?

It’s a condition that affects the airways in the lungs. These get inflamed and then they become narrow, reducing airflow and sometimes producing phlegm. The symptoms are: Coughing, Wheezing, Getting short of breath and Feeling tight in the chest.

Know your child’s ‘triggers’

There are lots of different things that could trigger your child’s asthma. In some cases it could be obvious what’s doing it, but sometimes it could take a little longer to work out. Triggers can include, but aren’t limited to:

  • House dust mites
  • Animals
  • Pollen
  • Mould
  • Foods
  • Exercise
  • Pollution
  • Smoke
  • Colds
  • Viral infections
How you can help manage your child's asthma ?
  1. Talk to your child about their asthma and encourage them to be involved in managing it. You’ll find the My Asthma pack really useful to support you. Go in store and ask a member of the pharmacy team.
  2. Find out more about your child’s medicines and how they should be used to get the maximum benefit. Your child’s asthma is more likely to be controlled if they’re using their inhalers regularly as directed by the doctor.
  3. Make sure your child knows how to use their inhaler correctly. Ask in store where the pharmacy team can help you with this.
  4. Make sure that your child uses a spacer with their inhaler.
  5. Keep inhalers and spacers clean and dust-free.
  6. Make sure your child has an asthma action plan and regular reviews with an asthma nurse or GP.
  7. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do to help your child’s asthma and your own health, so come in store and ask the pharmacy team for advice or click here to view our range of online stop smoking products. If you can’t quit, don’t smoke around your child as it can make their asthma worse.
  8. Pets with fur and feathers can be a trigger for asthma, so check before you bring one into your home.
  9. Exercise is good for everyone, even if you have asthma, and it shouldn’t stop your child taking part in sport. Because exercise can be a trigger for some children, speak to your GP who’ll give you advice about getting your child to take their reliever inhaler before exercising.
When your child's asthma is under control they'll have few or no symptoms, and can take part in activities

You’ll know that your child’s asthma isn’t as controlled as you thought when they:

  • Need their reliever inhaler more than every four hours
  • Need time off from school because of their asthma
  • Are waking in the night with a cough, wheezing, shortness of breath or a tight chest
  • Are using their inhaler but it doesn’t seem to be working
  • Can’t take part in exercise because of their symptoms

So make sure you and your child attend at least one asthma review every year. At this review you’ll agree an asthma plan to help you manage their condition. If you do notice any of the above symptoms, talk to your pharmacy team or doctor who’ll help you identify why your child’s asthma isn’t being controlled.

All the help you need

It’s so important for you and your child to be able to manage their asthma. Come in store where we can help by talking to you both about their medicines to make sure they’re being used properly. It’s your chance to have a face-to-face consultation with a pharmacist and ask about any issues or concerns you may have.

Take control of asthma at school… So they can achieve their potential and enjoy school life

On average, there are three children with asthma in every classroom with asthma – so your child’s not alone.

All schools should have a medical conditions policy in place to help make sure your child stays healthy and safe, achieves their potential and makes a positive contribution. But there are also a few things you can do to help your child at school:

  • Make sure the school knows 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 the teachers are aware.
  • 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.
  • Make sure your child understands what they need to do at school if they feel unwell.
    If your child has an asthma attack… Here’s how you can help

    You’ll know your child is having an asthma attack if

    • Their reliever inhaler isn’t helping them
    • Their symptoms appear to be much worse than usual
    • They’re too breathless to speak
    What you can do:
    • Get them to take their reliever inhaler every two minutes (up to ten puffs) until they feel better
    • Loosen any tight clothing
    • If symptoms haven’t improved call 999
    • If you’re still waiting for an ambulance for longer than ten minutes, repeat step 1
    Asthma UK

    Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma – whatever their age.

    The organisation can provide information and support for you and your child. They can also provide materials to schools in the UK to help make sure they’re safe, inclusive and supportive environments for children and young people with asthma.

    Asthma UK’s Asthma Friendly Schools programme

    Asthma UK is working to ensure all schools in the UK are safe, inclusive and supportive for children and young people with asthma. It’s all part of the charity’s Asthma Friendly Schools programme which began in September 2012, targeting areas of most need first.

    With the help of school staff, Asthma UK has developed a checklist of minimum standards to enable a school to become asthma friendly. This includes a register of all children with asthma in a school, awareness training for school staff, access to inhalers at all times and measures to make sure children and young people with asthma are included in school activities.

    Asthma UK will be providing the necessary resources to help schools meet these standards. They’ll also be offering a ‘train the trainer’ model to school nurses so they can carry out asthma awareness sessions to their schools. For more information visit

    Managing Asthma
    Spacers and Peak Flow Meters
    Staying healthy
    Children and asthma