Advice for a Healthy Back-to-School Routine: Asthma Care Tips for Parents in West Yorkshire
As summer comes to an end, parents and carers of children with asthma in West Yorkshire are offered support and advice from West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership to help with the back-to-school transition.
Understanding the Challenge:
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness. A range of factors, including allergens, pollution, and weather changes, can trigger it. Children with asthma are particularly vulnerable to these triggers, making their routine preventive medication essential for managing the condition and preventing asthma attacks.
The September Surge:
It’s important to note that asthma attacks tend to increase significantly in September, after the summer holidays. Parents and carers should maintain their child’s regular medication schedule throughout the summer, ensuring a smoother transition as school resumes.
The Five Must-Dos: To keep asthma in check during the back-to-school period, here are four essential steps for parents and carers:
- Asthma Action Plan: Ensure that you have an up-to-date asthma action plan and follow it diligently. This plan outlines the necessary steps to take in case of worsening symptoms or an asthma attack.
- Regular Preventive Medication: Make sure your child takes asthma prevention medicine regularly as their healthcare provider prescribes. This practice helps maintain control over the condition and reduces the risk of flare-ups.
- Always Carry the Blue Reliever Inhaler: Ensure your child always carries their blue reliever inhaler and spacer, including to school. This ensures that quick relief is readily available in case of sudden symptoms or emergencies.
- Asthma + Lung UK App: Download the Asthma + Lung UK App for parents of children with asthma, available on Apple Store and Google Play. You can create an action plan with your GP or asthma nurse or discuss it at your next appointment.
- Correct Inhaler Technique: Regularly check that your child uses the proper inhaler technique. Detailed guidance can be found on the Asthma + Lung UK website.
Advice from Dr. Katherine Hickman: Dr. Katherine Hickman, a GP Partner in Bradford and Respiratory Lead for West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, emphasizes the importance of asthma care:
“Even if your child is feeling well and has been running around all summer, it’s vital to keep on top of their asthma medication and ensure they take their preventer inhaler as instructed by their GP or asthma nurse. It’s easy to fall out of your usual asthma care routine during the long summer break, but it’s never too early to get back into it.
Now that we’re getting back into the school routine, parents need to make sure their children are also getting back into the habit of taking their medicine to prevent asthma attacks and are following their asthma action plans. This includes checking that their reliever inhaler isn’t empty or out of date, making sure teachers know they may need an inhaler, and always taking it with them.”
Vaccinations play a pivotal role in reducing the risk for children with asthma. Parents and carers are encouraged to ensure their children are vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 when offered. These vaccinations can help prevent respiratory infections that could worsen asthma symptoms.
A healthy school year ahead
As we gear up for the school year, we hope the tips above help you support your children’s health by staying vigilant about asthma care. Following these steps and staying informed can make a significant difference in managing asthma effectively. For more back-to-school support and advice for parents and carers of children with asthma, visit WY Healthier together or the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership website. Together, we can ensure a healthy and asthma-ready start to the school year.
If you would like to share your tips and advice for parents and carers of children with asthma or feedback about any of the asthma support services in Kirklees you’ve accessed please leave a comment below.