Parents and carers encouraged to ask about asthma

Parents and carers of children with asthma in the Black Country are being encouraged to inform themselves about managing their child’s condition.

The #AskAboutAsthma campaign, originally launched in London and now in its sixth year, aims to raise awareness of the lung condition, which affects around one in every 11 children and causes symptoms like coughing, wheezing and breathlessness.

The campaign, which runs from 3 to 9 October, will this year encourage healthcare professionals and families of asthma patients to think about four key things when having conversations about a child’s condition:

1. Get an asthma action plan in place.
Children and young people who have a proper written plan drawn up by a clinician are
four times less likely to have to go to hospital for their asthma.
2. Understand how to use inhalers correctly.
A preventer inhaler is one of the most important tools for managing asthma, delivering medicine exactly where it is needed to reduce inflammation caused by asthma – but if it is not used properly the benefits are greatly reduced.
3. Schedule an asthma review – every year and after every attack.
An asthma review by a properly trained clinician after every attack helps to work out what went wrong, while an annual review helps to ensure the condition continues to be managed effectively.
4. Consider air pollution and its impact on lung health.
Every asthma conversation should consider indoor and outdoor air pollution and how exposure to these triggers could potentially be reduced.
During autumn there is typically a surge in asthma attacks, as children return to school after the long summer break and may be exposed for the first time in a while to triggers such as seasonal viruses and allergies, cleaning products and other fumes.

During #AskAboutAsthma week, campaign organisers The Healthy London Partnership are hosting a range of resources including webinars, podcasts and blogs, which are available for anyone to access.

Details of all the events and information resources will be added to the campaign web page throughout the week at Viv Marsh, specialist asthma nurse and Black Country clinical lead for children and young people’s asthma transformation, said:

“Going back to school 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.

“The good news is that asthma is very treatable, but it’s important that parents and carers keep on top of their child’s medication and ensure they’re taking their preventer inhaler as instructed by their GP or asthma nurse.

“The #AskAboutAsthma campaign is a great way to encourage people to get thinking and talking about asthma, so I’d really encourage parents and carers to follow the campaign on social media, visit the website, and take up all the opportunities on offer to learn more.”


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