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Parents warned over kids' asthma admissions

22 August 2018 08:12

Asthma attacks are more likely in September

Asthma attacks are more likely in September

Parents of youngsters living with asthma are being urged to be proactive, to help reduce a sharp rise in emergency hospital admissions as their children return to school.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warns that kids going back to school after the summer holidays are at a higher risk of potentially life-threatening asthma attacks.

According to figures, asthma-related hospital admissions treble amongst schoolchildren during September as the school year kicks off.

The RCN said that on average, there are three children with asthma in every UK school classroom.

Lapse in routine

The College, which is preparing to hold its annual school nursing conference on Wednesday in London, said there are various reasons behind the rise, but it may be in part to children with asthma not regularly using their preventer inhaler during the summer holidays.

This lapse in routine, along with changes in the weather and exposure to new coughs and colds when they return to school leaves youngsters at a heightened risk, school nurses at the conference will warn.

Between August and September 2015, emergency asthma admissions in England, Scotland and Wales for children aged 0-14 tripled, increasing from 1,089 to 3,203.

Parents should ensure their children are taking preventer medication and book their child's annual asthma review before the school term starts with their GP or asthma nurse.

They should also ensure their child has a personalised asthma action plan and discuss the plan with their child's teacher, while ensure their children's backpacks contain their reliever inhaler, spacer and care plan.

Stress and excitement

Fiona Smith, the RCN's professional lead for children and young people, said: "Changes in routine during the holidays, the stress and excitement of going back to school as well as being exposed to new virus and colds, can leave children more vulnerable to asthma attacks.

"Children should not have to miss days off school because of their asthma. Booking your child's annual asthma review before the school holidays end can help them manage their asthma and flag any new triggers before term starts."

Asthma UK has issued an alert to Scottish parents where children have already begun their return to school.

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