Video: What to do if your child's asthma is getting worseExpert child asthma nurse Suzanne explains how to protect your child from an asthma attack
Each year, at the start of the autumn term, there’s a big rise in the number of children rushed to hospital with their asthma.
Fortunately, there’s loads you can do to help your child stay well this year. Follow these simple steps to help you and your child cope with back to school asthma symptoms:
Know how to spot an asthma attack - before it happens
Your child’s symptoms are likely to get worse a few days before an attack. Our asthma nurses say the top signs to look out for are:
- Snotty noses – colds and flu often trigger asthma attacks.
- Puffing on their reliever inhaler (usually blue) three or more times a week.
- Coughing and/or wheezing at night and in the early mornings.
- Breathlessness – if they’re pausing for breath when talking or struggling to keep up with friends, that’s a sign.
- They might say their tummy or chest hurts – get to know your child’s individual asthma signs.
Know what to do if your child’s symptoms are getting worse
- Give between two and six puffs of their reliever inhaler, through a spacer, every four hours. Space the puffs out so there are 30-60 seconds between them.
- Make a same-day appointment with your child's GP.
- If the surgery is closed, call 111 for advice.
- If you have any questions, call our asthma nurses for advice on 0300 222 5800 (Mon – Fri; 9am – 5pm). You can also visit our child asthma advice.
If your child's symptoms get worse quickly, call 999:
- While you wait for the ambulance, help them sit up and give a puff of their reliever inhaler every 30-60 seconds - you can give them up to 10 puffs.
- If the ambulance takes longer than 15 minutes, you can give your child 10 more puffs of their reliever inhaler.
Video: What to do next when you call an ambulance for your childAsthma nurse, Suzanne explains what to do next if your child is having an asthma attack and you're waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
Act NOW to protect your child this autumn and winter
It’s thought mould, changing weather and coughs and colds are the reason more children are rushed to hospital at this time of year. Here’s how to avoid a trip to A&E:
- Make an appointment with your GP to make sure your child’s written asthma action plan is up to date.
- Download our Asthma School Card, fill it out with your GP and give it to the school.
- Visit your child’s GP so they can check your child’s asthma and adjust their prescription to make sure your child is getting the most from their medicine.
- Get a fresh, full, reliever inhaler (usually blue) and give it to your child’s school.
- Contact our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (Mon – Fri; 9am – 5pm) to speak to one of our friendly asthma nurses about things like how to manage your child’s asthma and how to talk to school about their asthma.
- Visit our online community to get support from other parents whose children have asthma.
With the right asthma care, your child should be able to cope with coughs and colds, sleep easily and stay healthy – so you don’t have to worry.
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