Help your child get talking
If your child is old enough, asking them to take this quiz will help get them talking about how they feel about having asthma. Whether they’re really worried, a bit bothered by it or determined not to let it rule their life, you can talk through the ‘results’ tips with them.
If your child isn’t yet old enough to take this quiz on their own, why not put our questions into your own words and use them as a starting point to ask your child how they’re feeling about their asthma? If they have questions or concerns, this will give you a chance to answer or reassure them.
Imagine how it will feel if you come away from the conversation knowing you’ve answered your child’s questions and eased your child’s worries! You’ll also be teaching them that they can share any concerns and worries with you which means they’ll be less likely to bottle things up.
Knowing your child feels more positive and confident about their asthma will help you feel more positive and confident too.
Take our two-minute quiz!
1) How do you feel about having asthma?
A Sad and occasionally scared
B Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn't
C Not bothered - asthma doesn’t stop me doing the things I want to do
2) How do you feel about using your inhaler in front of people?
A I hate having to use it - it's really embarrassing
B I feel okay in front of people I don’t know, but embarrassed in front of my friends
C It doesn't worry me at all
3) Do you talk to your friends about your asthma?
A No, I don't want to be seen as different
B Yes, but only to friends I know really well
C Yes, I don't mind anyone knowing I have asthma
4) You’ve been invited round for a sleepover at your best friend's house. Do you feel...
A Scared because I might have an asthma attack while I’m there or that my coughing will keep everyone awake?
B A bit nervous that their dog, or dust in the house, might set off my asthma?
C Excited about staying up late and having a midnight feast?
5) Imagine it’s sports day soon. Do you feel...
A Unable to go as I’ll have to do races that make it hard to breathe?
B A bit worried I won’t be able to breathe properly when I’m running?
C Pleased I’ll be doing fun things like the egg-and-spoon and sack races?
6) How do you feel at the start of a new school year?
A Very worried that my new teacher won't know how to help me if I have an asthma attack
B A bit nervous that I’ll feel out of breath and have to tell my teacher I have asthma
C Eager to see all my school friends again
7) You're going on holiday soon. Do you feel…
A Frightened I might come across things that will make my asthma worse?
B A bit stressed in case I get unwell while we’re away?
C Happy that I’ll be able to play on the beach and explore new places?
8) How do you feel about your written asthma action plan?
A I haven’t got one, OR my mum and dad use it, not me
B I know it's helpful but sometimes I forget to use it
C I like keeping it with me in case I have to explain to people what I need to do if my asthma gets worse
Mostly As: You’re feeling worried about your asthma
It's natural to feel scared about having asthma attacks, or worried that asthma may stop you from doing the things you love doing such as playing sport, going on school outings or enjoying your holidays. This can be positive as it means you're taking your asthma seriously, and that means you’re more likely to take good care of yourself. But if your worries stop you from doing things you enjoy, it might help you to know there are lots of things you (and those who look after you) can do to help you deal with your asthma and enjoy life to the full:
- Remember that one in 11 children has asthma. Although having asthma can be difficult sometimes, you might find it helpful to remember you’re not alone. Lots of children who have it can take the right medicines to stop symptoms and do all the things they want to do in life. If you’re getting symptoms, your GP can help you so ask your mum or dad to make an appointment ASAP. If you’re not getting symptoms, this means your asthma is under control so continue doing all the things your GP or asthma nurse told you to and tell yourself you’re dealing with your asthma really well.
- Read our page What to do if your child has an asthma attack so you know exactly what to do if you feel asthma symptoms coming on. This will help you feel more confident about your asthma and stop you worrying so much.
- Take inspiration from the well-known people who have asthma including One Direction singer Niall Horan, footballer David Beckham and Olympic cyclist Laura Trott. They’re proof that having asthma doesn’t have to stop you following your dreams.
- Take your preventer medicine as prescribed every day. It might feel annoying or boring at times, but doing this is the best way to help your airways get less sensitive so you’re less likely to have asthma symptoms.
- Talk to your mum or dad, or ask them to make an appointment to see your GP or asthma nurse about your worries so they can reassure you. Or you can call our friendly Helpline asthma nurse advisors on 0300 222 5800 (9am – 5pm; Mon – 5pm).
Mostly Bs: You’re feeling uncertain about your asthma
People with asthma often tell us they have mixed feelings about their asthma – they feel confident sometimes, and worried at others, especially if they have bad memories of an asthma attack. You might find it helpful to know that most people with asthma can find the right medicine to help them stay symptom-free. If you take your medicines exactly as your doctor or asthma nurse told you to and do all they things they told you to do, the condition doesn’t have to hold you back:
- Read our page Manage your child’s asthma well. It’s packed with good ideas to help you feel more confident about all the things you can do to stay safe with your asthma.
- Use an up-to-date written asthma action plan to help you feel more on top of your asthma. It will remind you what your triggers are, how many puffs of preventer inhaler you need to take and how often, and what you need to look out for to show you need to get help and/or use a reliever inhaler because your asthma is getting worse or you're having an asthma attack.
- Get into a good routine with your preventer and reliever inhalers. Use your preventer inhaler (usually twice a day), even when you're feeling well, and take your reliever inhaler (usually blue) everywhere for on-the-spot relief from asthma symptoms.
- Talk to your teacher. If you’re worried about dealing with your asthma at school, ask your mum or dad to arrange to come to a meeting with your teacher. Take along a copy of your asthma action plan and explain all the things your teacher can do to help you – for example, what your triggers are and how you can let them know if you’re not feeling well.
- Keep in touch with your GP or asthma nurse. Going for an asthma review every six months means that you can share your worries, you can get your asthma action plan updated and you can get your inhaler technique checked. You can also get questions answered by one of our friendly Helpline asthma nurse advisors on 0300 222 5800 (9am – 5pm; Mon – 5pm).
Mostly Cs: You’re feeling confident about your asthma
This is a great attitude because you’re not letting your asthma hold you back from doing all the things you love doing. Remember, though, that asthma symptoms can come and go. Even if you’re having very few asthma symptoms at the moment, you still need to do everything you can to make sure you’re managing your asthma well:
- Read our page Help your child manage their own asthma for lots more tips and ideas about looking after your asthma.
- Take your preventer medicine every day exactly as your GP or asthma nurse told you to - even if you’re feeling well. If you forget or skip doses, the protection it gives your sensitive airways will start to wear off and your risk of asthma symptoms or even an asthma attack will go up.
- Don't forget to take your blue inhaler (reliever) with you everywhere so you can get to it quickly if you have asthma symptoms. Make sure it’s in date and that you know where your spare one is kept. It’s also important to get your inhaler technique checked regularly so the medicine can get right down into your lungs where it’s needed.
- Go to see your GP or asthma nurse if you haven’t had any asthma symptoms for at least three months - they may want to check you’re taking the right medicines and may be able to reduce your dose.
- Don’t be afraid to share how you’re feeling. Even the most confident people can have questions and worries sometimes. If you do, talk to your mum or dad, your GP or asthma nurse or an adult you trust so they can reassure you. You can also call our friendly Helpline asthma nurse advisors on 0300 222 5800 (9am – 5pm; Mon – 5pm).