Widening our view about asthma
Did you know that asthma is the most common long-term medical condition affecting children and young people? 1 in 11 are affected by the condition, which is around 3 in every London classroom.
Many have badly managed asthma, with over 20,000 admitted to hospital every year in England. Over 4% of these have such a severe episode that they are admitted to intensive care.
That’s why we want you to #AskAboutAsthma.
#AskAboutAsthma is an annual campaign led by NHS England – London Babies, Children and Young People’s Transformation team. We want to help children and young people with asthma, and their families and carers, to understand how to manage their condition so they can live full lives, without missing out. Visit the #AskAboutAsthma campaign page to download a toolkit to help you spread the word about four steps that can help manage asthma.
There are four simple steps (or asks) which can help children and young people to manage their asthma:
1. Get an asthma action plan in place
A written asthma action plan drawn up between a healthcare professional and patient means you are four times less likely to have to go to hospital for your asthma.
2. Understand how to use inhalers correctly
Less than three-quarters of children and young people know how to use their inhaler. Poor inhaler technique means patients don’t get the full benefit of their asthma medication.
3. Schedule an asthma review – every year and after every attack
An asthma review by an appropriately trained clinician after every attack helps to work out what went wrong so you can adjust your asthma management plan as needed.
4. Consider air pollution and its impact on lung health
Indoor and outdoor air pollution can trigger your asthma. Thinking about air pollution as part of your asthma management can help reduce the risk of asthma attacks.
Taking control of my own asthma management by Olivia Fulton, expert by experience
How a Digital Health Passport can support your asthma management by Greg Burch, Tiny Medical Apps
Podcast: How London is addressing air pollution to help children & young people with asthma with Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for environment and energy in London, and Dr Gary Fuller, Air Pollution Scientist at Imperial College London
Missed asthma reviews and appointments – how to ensure families don’t slip through the net by Cloe Smith, children’s community asthma nurse in Newham
Moving on asthma – helping teens to transition to adult services with Nicki Barker and Moira Gibbons. Moving on Asthma is a resource for young people living with asthma, developed by the Respiratory Research Team at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
What is asthma and how can young people manage it?
By Robert Adoo Kissi-Debrah, young person and supporter
Five tips on reducing exposure to indoor allergens
By Catherine Sutton, parent and founder of Airborne Allergy Action
Do you know when your inhaler is empty? By Prasad Nagakumar, Paediatric Respiratory Consultant, Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Ask the experts webinar recording – watch here
Digital Health Passports – how they can help manage asthma by Dr Greg Burch
Vaping – not safe, not harmless – by Dr Seb Gray
Why we need to consider a child or young person’s environment as part of their asthma management by Aishah Farooq, NHS England Youth Forum member and patient public voice partner
Ask the experts – watch here where a panel answered your questions about childhood asthma and how to get the four asks in place.
Resources and asthma information
By raising awareness, we can help even more children and young people to ask about asthma and get the right care. If you have asthma, or you are the parent of a child or young person with asthma, speak to your GP or GP practice nurse to discuss getting an asthma management plan in place.
Children and young people with asthma can find a range of resources below to help you learn more about the condition:
- What is asthma?
- What things trigger asthma?
- Beat Asthma resources for young people
- Moving on Asthma resources for young people living with asthma
- Itchy Sneezy Wheezy: helping younger children to understand asthma
- Short videos about asthma
If you are a parent or carer, find information below to help you better understand asthma and how to help your children to manage it:
- What is asthma?
- What to do if your child is having an attack?
- Air pollution and other asthma triggers
- Asthma advice for parents and carers
- Using asthma inhalers
- What is an asthma action plan?
- Asthma + Lung UK information and resources
- Beat Asthma resources for families and schools