There is a peak in children going to hospital accident and emergency departments for asthma after they have had a break from school. This may be because the change of routine when they are not in school means they forget and do not take their asthma medication regularly.
Dr Debbie Hallott, local GP and Clinical Lead for Children, NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s important to make sure your child takes their preventer inhaler regularly as it is hard to avoid some triggers like pollen and we want children to be able to play and exercise without their symptoms getting in the way. Also, make sure that your child keeps their reliever somewhere handy or speak to their teacher to make sure they can get it easily if needed.”
Top tips for managing your child’s asthma include:
- Making sure that they always use their preventer inhalers as explained by their doctor or asthma nurse, even if they have no symptoms. These inhalers are usually brown, orange, red or purple, and need to be taken every day.
- Having a reliever (blue) inhaler and spacer, to leave at school or nursery. Take the inhaler home at the end of each term to check the expiry date and how much is left. Remember to check the expiry date and take it or a new one back at the start of next term.
- Contacting your GP surgery if your child’s asthma symptoms mean they have to stop when walking or running, when playing sports or their symptoms are waking them at night.
- Ensuring that your child has an annual asthma review with their GP or practice nurse and an asthma action plan.
- Making sure children with asthma have their vaccinations when offered including flu. This will protect them against serious illness. If you are unsure which injections your child should have, please speak to your GP or practice nurse.
- Get to know your child’s symptoms and how they may change when their asthma is worsening.
Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, said: “I understand how easy it is to get out of a normal routine when children aren’t at school and this is even more relevant given the current circumstances, but it is really important to make sure your child takes their asthma medication regularly to keep their asthma under control and look out for signs their symptoms are not worsening.
“Making sure your child has their annual asthma review and taking their asthma action plan to school is crucial, so that you, your child and their teachers understand and recognise when their asthma is getting worse.
“Asthma UK have some great advice and support for parents, so if you are unsure of what you need to do, please visit https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/child/medicines/treatment/.”
If your child has asthma you may have received a text message from your GP as a reminder for them to take their asthma medication as prescribed.
Further information and advice about asthma can also be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk