LETTER: Help prevent an attack this summer

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The school summer holiday is a time children look forward to all year.

A time for them to relax, enjoy the outdoors and get stuck into their favourite hobbies.

It’s easy to see how routines can go out of the window once summer hits, which is why Asthma UK is launching a campaign urging parents to maintain their child’s usual preventer medicine routine over the school break.

This will help to protect their child from an asthma attack both during the summer holiday and once they go back to school.
Every ten seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack in the UK, and three people die from an asthma attack every day.

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 over the summer holiday, parents can keep children as well as possible and reduce the risk of this happening:
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 and share this with any other carers; people with asthma are four times more likely to end up in hospital for their asthma if they don’t use one.

Track your child’s asthma symptoms using a diary or a symptom calendar. Prep for going back to school by arranging an asthma review to check your child’s medicines, and make sure your child has spare, in-date reliever inhalers to take into school.

Parents who have any concerns about their child’s asthma can speak to our team of expert nurses by calling the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), and can download a child’s asthma action plan by visiting www.asthma.org.uk/advice/safer-school-holidays.

Sonia Munde

Head of helpline and nurse manager at Asthma UK