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Canterbury and Coastal: Be asthma aware

User AvatarPosted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 19/09/2013 13:55:58

The number of children taken to hospital because of asthma is expected to peak this month.

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 Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting Asthma UK’s ‘Teach Asthma a Lesson’ campaign by providing parents across the area with advice on how to reduce their child’s chances of having a bad asthma attack.

The Asthma UK campaign is urging 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 of young children 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 or having a rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is pressed firmly against the skin
• Check out www.nhs.uk  for information on children’s health and symptoms of common childhood diseases such as measles and chicken pox.

Dr Mark Jones, Chair of NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG, said: “There are lots of things parents can do to lessen the risk of their child suffering an asthma attack at this time of year, such as making sure they wrap up well, keeping inhalers close to hand and encouraging them to warm up properly before taking part in sporting activities.

“This time of year also often sees a rise in the number of coughs and colds, but parents should remember that antibiotics aren’t necessarily 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.

“If children are very ill or have a high temperature which can’t be reduced with off the shelf pain relief, or a persistent cough or fever, parents should seek advice from their GP or by calling NHS 111 when their GP surgery is closed.”

Follow NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG on Twitter, @NHSCCCCG.