Keep asthma on track for kids

Uxbridge Gazette - - Your Say -

NOW that the school sum­mer hol­i­days are here, it’s easy for health rou­tines to go out of the win­dow as chil­dren re­lax, en­joy the out­doors and get stuck into their favourite hob­bies.

But Asthma UK is launch­ing a cam­paign urg­ing par­ents of chil­dren with asthma to make sure they take their usual pre­ven­ter medicine and keep up a rou­tine over the school break. The medicine builds up over time so will help to pro­tect their child from an asthma at­tack dur­ing the sum­mer hol­i­day and once they re­turn to school.

In Septem­ber, chil­dren are nearly three times more likely to be ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal be­cause of an asthma at­tack than in Au­gust, partly due to sea­sonal trig­gers such as cold and flu viruses.

If a child hasn’t kept up their pre­ven­ter medicine rou­tine over the school hol­i­days, they will be at greater risk of re­act­ing to these trig­gers. The good news is that by tak­ing a few sim­ple steps, par­ents can help their child to avoid asthma at­tacks and en­joy the sum­mer as much as any­one else:

■ Keep up your child’s usual pre­ven­ter medicine rou­tine (usu­ally a brown in­haler)

■ Make sure your child has an up-to-date writ­ten asthma ac­tion plan, which you can down­load from Asthma UK’s web­site, and share this with any­one who will be look­ing af­ter them; as us­ing one means they’re less likely to end up in hos- pital for their asthma

■ Track your child’s asthma symp­toms us­ing a di­ary or a symp­tom cal­en­dar Pre­pare for go­ing back to school by ar­rang­ing for your child to have an asthma re­view with their GP or asthma nurse

We want to re­as­sure par­ents whose chil­dren have asthma that sup­port is avail­able through our nurse helpline. For in­for­ma­tion on how to man­age your child’s asthma or to down­load an ac­tion plan visit www.asthma.org.uk/safer­sum­mer Dr Andy Whit­ta­more, Clin­i­cal Lead at Asthma UK and a

prac­tis­ing GP

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