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Time to teach asthma a lesson

User AvatarPosted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 17/09/2014 10:40:19

Parents are being asked to teach asthma a lesson as the number of children taken to hospital because of the condition is expected to peak this month (September).

The beginning of a new school year, combined with the onset of autumn, traditionally sees a spike in the amount of children suffering asthma attacks.

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking parents, carers, teachers and healthcare professionals to act now and prevent a surge in hospital visits.

The CCG is supporting Asthma UK’s ‘Teach Asthma a Lesson’ campaign which provides advice to parents on how to reduce their child’s chances of having a bad asthma attack.

The Asthma UK campaign urges parents whose children suffer from asthma to use the resources on its website such as sticker charts to monitor their child’s asthma and manage it.  The resources and further advice are available from www.asthma.org.uk.

This time of year also sees an increase in coughs and colds. Health advice for parents includes:

• Have a thermometer in the home and know how to check your child’s temperature – 37.5C (99.5F) and over is a fever.
• Have over-the-counter medicines such as liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen handy to bring down their temperature.
• Help your child recover from a cold or cough by making sure they drink plenty of fluids and get rest. Give them time to recover from a cold – seek advice if it lasts longer than 10 days.
• If your child has a bad cough that won’t go away, see your GP.
• If your child also has a high temperature and is breathless, they may have a chest infection – seek advice from a GP.
• If a cough continues for a long time, especially if it’s worse at night or is brought on by your child running about, it could be a sign of asthma.
• If you’re worried about your child, trust your instincts and seek advice by contacting your practice or phoning NHS 111.
• Look out for symptoms that may be a sign of a more serious illness such as being unusually sleepy, not passing urine for more than eight hours during the day or having a rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is pressed firmly against the skin.
• Check out www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net for information on children’s health, symptoms of common childhood diseases such as measles and chickenpox and information on local services.

Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford CCG, said: “Autumn sees a significant rise in the number of children taken to hospital for their asthma. We need your help to reduce these admissions.

“There are some simple things that can be done to reduce the chance of an attack. If your child suffers with asthma, it’s particularly important that they wrap up well as the colder weather starts.

“Coughs and colds are also common from this time of year onwards, but parents should remember that antibiotics aren’t usually the answer. Plenty of fluids and rest should be enough to help fight off germs and symptoms will usually ease within five to seven days.”


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