As the school holidays start, parents and carers in the Black Country are being reminded of the importance of managing their child’s asthma over the summer break.
Asthma is a lung condition that affects around one in every 11 children and causes symptoms like coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.
It varies from one child to the next, but most types of asthma can be managed well by using a preventer inhaler every day to control their asthma. A reliever (blue) inhaler may be needed occasionally if symptoms flare up.
The NHS has created a video with a local nurse discussing the importance of keeping on top of your child’s asthma over the summer holidays. You can watch the video on YouTube here.
Louise Tipping is a respiratory nurse in the Black Country and features in the video. She said: “It’s easy for children to fall out of their usual asthma care routine during the long summer break, but it’s really important to keep on top of medication.
“Going back to school in September can have a big impact on asthma symptoms and we always see a spike in the number of children and young people suffering asthma attacks, which can be very serious and even life-threatening. However, by taking a few simple steps, parents can help their child to avoid asthma attacks and enjoy the summer as much as anyone else.
“Make sure your child takes their preventer inhaler as prescribed. Preventer medication builds up over time to calm the inflammation in your child’s lungs, so maintaining your usual routine means they’ll have the best level of protection before they head back into the classroom.
“Follow your child’s personal asthma action plan and keep it handy so you know what to do if their symptoms are triggered. It’s also important to understand your child’s asthma triggers – this could be house dust, pollen, animal fur, tobacco smoke, cold air or exercise.
“And, importantly, always be asthma ready. An asthma attack can be life-threatening, and you should make sure your child always keeps an in-date reliever inhaler (usually blue) with them.”
Anyone with asthma is at risk of having an asthma attack, which usually needs urgent medical treatment. Asthma attacks can even be fatal. This is why it is crucial to ensure children and young people take their medication even when feeling well, and to take action if their asthma seems to be getting worse.