As the weather warms up and we spend more time outdoors, the NHS in Leeds is advising people with asthma – especially children – on how to manage their health this summer to avoid the ‘September spike’ in emergency asthma admissions.
Asthma is the most common long term medical condition with over 1.1 million children currently receiving treatment. Changes in temperature and high pollen levels can trigger asthma symptoms, so it’s important to take preventative measures, including using inhalers regularly.
Children who do not take manage their asthma well during summer are at greater risk of having an asthma attack when back in school – that’s where they are exposed to cold and flu viruses, which are common triggers of asthma attacks.
Dr Gordon Sinclair, Clinical Chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“After the summer holidays we see a dramatic increase in the number of children with asthma being taken to A&E and often being admitted to hospital for further treatment. A significant factor is that they haven’t regularly used their asthma medication during the holidays.
“If you’re the parent or carer of a child with asthma, please make sure they have their inhalers with them when they go out to play or when you go on holiday. This is especially important if you go abroad, where it may not be as easy to access healthcare.”
These tips will help make sure you all enjoy the summer break:
- People with asthma should keep their preventer inhaler with them and use as prescribed by their doctor. This helps reduce the chance of their body reacting to the usual asthma symptoms.
- They should also have their reliever inhaler in case they start experiencing asthma symptoms.
- Monitor their symptoms using an action plan and this will allow them to identify when it is flaring up so they can take relevant steps.
It is also important for children to remain hydrated by drinking lots of water, especially as they spend more time outside. Encourage them to take regular breaks and sit in an air conditioned room indoors to help them stay cool.
Asthma UK has developed a ‘My Asthma’ resource pack for children aged 6-12 years old including a six week diary for children to complete with a reward sticker for every week completed. The resource pack can be downloaded from Asthma UK’s website www.asthma.org.uk/advice/child/manage/action-plan
Asthma UK provides simple, straightforward information for children and adults for more information visit: www.asthma.org.uk
This post is based on a press release issued by NHS Leeds CCG