Parents and carers of children with asthma in Leeds are being reminded to make sure their asthma action plan is up-to-date and that they are taking their asthma prevention medicine as directed over the summer.
Around one in ten young people has asthma in the UK and a child is admitted to hospital every 20 minutes because of an asthma attack, the majority of which are preventable.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition and causes symptoms like coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. It can be triggered by various factors, including allergens, pollution, and weather changes. Children with asthma are particularly vulnerable to these triggers, and their routine, preventive medication is crucial for managing the condition and preventing asthma attacks.
The NHS Integrated Care Board in Leeds is sharing this important reminder now because asthma attacks tend to increase significantly in September after the school holidays, likely due to disruptions in medication routines during the summer break.
To reduce this risk, parents are advised to maintain their child’s regular medication schedule throughout the summer as they transition back into their school routine. There are four things parents and carers can do:
- Have an asthma action plan in place that is up-to-date and being followed. This plan outlines steps to take in case of worsening symptoms or an asthma attack.
- Make sure they are taking their asthma prevention medicine regularly as prescribed. This helps to maintain control over the condition and reduce the risk of flare-ups.
- Ensure they always carry their blue reliever inhaler and spacer with them – including to school. This ensures that quick relief is readily available in case of sudden symptoms or emergencies.
- Download the App for parents of children with asthma, available on Apple Storeand Google Play. You can create an action plan with you GP or asthma nurse here or ask at your next appointment.
Making sure your child is using the correct technique for inhalers is also vital and should be checked regularly. You can find more information on the Asthma + Lung UK website
Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and Medical Director for Leeds Health and Care Partnership said:
“Even if your child is feeling well and has been active all summer, it’s vital to keep on top of their asthma medication and ensure they’re taking their preventer inhaler as instructed by their GP or asthma nurse.
It’s easy to fall out of your usual asthma care routine during the long summer break, but it’s never too early to get back into it.
“Now we are getting back into the school routine, parents need to make sure their children are also getting back into the routine of taking their medicine to prevent asthma attacks and are following their asthma action plans.
“This includes checking their reliever inhaler isn’t empty or out of date, making sure teachers know they may need an inhaler, and ensuring they always take their reliever inhaler with them.”
Vaccinations also play a role in reducing the risk for children with asthma. Parents and carers are encouraged to ensure their children are vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 when offered. These vaccinations can help prevent respiratory infections that could worsen asthma symptoms.
You can find more back to school support for parent and carers of children with asthma advice on the WY HCP website
Notes for editor:
- For more information about choosing the right NHS service, visit: https://leedshcp.mixd.co.uk/health/services/
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