If you or your child has asthma, these top tips will help you feel more confident enjoying the 5th November celebrations...
Be mindful of lingering smoke fumes
As well as all the sparkle and colour from fireworks and bonfires, smoke fumes and unpleasant smells can linger long after the event is over. This can increase air pollution levels. If you or your child have asthma, all of these things can irritate your airways and trigger asthma symptoms.
We recommend avoiding smoky situations where possible, and if you find the smoke is making you cough, stand well back, and find a good spot from a distance to admire the fireworks.
How to prepare so you can stay symptom-free
You’re more likely to stay well with your asthma if you:
- take your preventer medicines as prescribed and discussed with your GP or asthma nurse
- carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times - you never know when you may need it
- make sure your friends and family know what to do and when to get help if your asthma symptoms suddenly get worse.
All of these things will also help you to worry less about you or your child getting symptoms during the Bonfire Night celebrations.
Don’t forget to wrap up warm
Our autumn weather can be very unpredictable, and cold and wet weather can bring on asthma symptoms. Mould and damp from falling leaves can also make asthma worse - one third of people with asthma tell us this happens to them. So, keep warm and avoid getting wet as much as possible while you’re out.
If it’s cold, wrap a scarf over your nose and mouth – this will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in.
If you have symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest or shortness of breath - or you have any concerns about your asthma - see your GP or asthma nurse as soon as possible. They will check your medicines and will explore ways to help you get your asthma under control - so you can reduce your risk of an asthma attack.
And don’t forget to download a written asthma action plan and take it with you to your appointment to discuss with your GP or asthma nurse.
Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s in-house GP says: “Whatever the time of year, people with asthma are more resilient to triggers like cold air or pollution when their asthma is well managed. You can help cut your risk of an asthma attack by taking your medicine as prescribed, going for an asthma review with your GP or asthma nurse at least once a year, and using a written asthma action plan.
“It’s really important that you see your GP or asthma nurse if you notice your symptoms are getting worse or if you’re using your reliever inhaler more than three times a week.”
If you’re worried about anything or have any questions, contact our Helpline. You can call one of our friendly expert nurses on 0300 222 5800 (9am – 5pm; Mon – Fri).
Last updated November 2017
Next review due November 2020