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Asthma is a disease of the lungs that causes tightening and swelling of the airways and produces sticky mucus. With these changes, the airways become narrow which decreases the space for air to flow in and out of the lungs.

Symptoms include:

  • Coughing.
  • tight feeling in the chest.
  • Wheezing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Struggling to breathe.

Symptoms can become worse at night, early in the morning, or during exercise.

 

When asthma is exacerbated children may also:

  • Eat and drink less.
  • cry.
  • Experience stomach ache and vomiting.
  • Get more puffed out than usual when running/playing.

 

Common triggers: (Triggers are different for different people)

  • Allergy triggers e.g house dust mites pollens, pets, molds.
  • Cigarette smoke.
  • Viral illnesses.
  • Weather e.g cold air, change in temperature, storms.
  • Some medications.

Asthma is a treatable health condition, and although there is no known cure, with good management people with asthma can lead normal active lives.

 

Asthma facts:

  • Around 80% of people with asthma also have allergies like hay fever.
  • Around 80% of children with asthma live with someone who smokes inside the house.
  • Children with asthma are more likely to have days off school/ childcare.
  • Hospital visits peak in February and May for children with asthma.

 

Taking control:

  • Understanding and avoiding triggers.
  • Have regular check-ups with G.P, and working together for good management and control.
  • Have and follow a personal asthma action plan (developed by your doctor).
  • Use all puffers correctly.
  • Live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

 

Good asthma control means:

  • No night time symptoms.
  • No asthma symptoms on waking.
  • No need for reliever medication.
  • No restriction of day to day activities.
  • No days off school due to asthma.
  • No asthma attacks or flare-ups.

Regularly waking from asthma symptoms or using reliever medication more than 2-3 times a week ( except before exercise) should not be a normal part of living with asthma.

 

action plan:

It is important that all children with asthma have an individual asthma action plan so teachers and care givers are fully aware of triggers symptoms, medications and how to treat individual children appropriately.

asthma action plans can vary based on the severity of the child’s condition, and it is also important that the child always carries their asthma medication with them, and knows how to use them, and who to ask for help. All members of the school team who have contact with the child should know what to do if the asthma is out of control.

We hope this post has been interesting and useful and aids you in the management of the common back to school illnesses that children are unfortunately often affected with. We hope you use this post as a guide, but if your child is unwell, and you are concerned we urge you to always seek medical attention and invite you to call into the pharmacy for continued support and follow up care for your child’s health and the well being of your entire family.