Childhealthy’s Newsletter: Asthma In Children

Welcome to Childhealthy’s latest newsletter update. If you or your child suffer from asthma, summer can be a difficult season. While most people think of winter as the most triggering time for asthma sufferers due to the cold weather, the summer heat and humidity combined with the rising pollen count can bring on asthma symptoms in many. With this in mind, we are going to discuss asthma symptoms and triggers and how to effectively deal with them.

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What is asthma?

Asthma is a common lung condition that many children and adults experience. Around 1 in 11 children live with asthma in the UK. This long-term condition affects the airways in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma usually develops during early childhood. However, it can affect people of all ages.

There are many treatments that can help ease the symptoms and make asthma more manageable. If your child has asthma, they have sensitive and inflamed airways. Although this sounds concerning, it can be controlled with the correct medical guidance.

What are the common asthma symptoms in children?

To help you identify asthma in your child, you should make yourself aware of the symptoms associated with the condition. Take a look at the list of symptoms below:

  • Feeling tightness in the chest
  • A sudden or constant cough
  • Loud, heavy breathing
  • Wheezing while breathing
  • Shortness of breath at rest or when your child is active

If you suspect your child may have asthma, please visit your GP or paediatrician. Childhealthy can put you in contact with expert paediatric respiratory specialists to get your child the accurate diagnosis and treatment they need.

What can trigger asthma?

You may be wondering, what is the difference between causes and triggers? A cause is an underlying reason why your child gets asthma in the first place, whereas a trigger is a factor that can set off your child’s asthma and accelerate their symptoms and even cause an asthma attack. Here are some common triggers listed below:

  • Stress
  • Exposure to air pollutants and cold air
  • Colds and respiratory infections
  • Second-hand tobacco smoke
  • House dust mites
  • Changes in weather or humidity
  • Mould
  • Allergies
  • Pet fur
  • Exercise

What to do if your child is having an asthma attack

If your child has asthma it’s important to understand what an asthma attack is, what causes them and what to do if your child is experiencing an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can occur due to exposure to specific triggers, as listed above. Some signs you should look out for are as follows:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unable to talk, walk and eat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low peak expiratory flow readings
  • Tight chest
  • A constant cough

You can help your child get their asthma attack under control by giving them puffs of an inhaler that contains a medicine that helps open up narrowed airways. However, if the inhaler does not ease the symptoms, you must seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Call 999 and request an ambulance. Remain calm and call 999 again if the ambulance has not arrived after 10 minutes. Continue to administer the prescribed dose of the inhaler. If your child has had an asthma attack previously follow the asthma action plan advised by your doctor. If this is the first time and you do not have any medicines to use, getting medical help urgently is very important.

How to treat asthma

Although there is no cure for asthma, various treatments can ease symptoms and prevent asthma attacks. Inhalers are the most common treatment, and two main types are often used:

  • Reliever Inhaler: This type of inhaler helps to relieve symptoms when they occur. This is usually blue and the medicine is called salbutamol (Ventolin) in the UK.
  • Preventer Inhaler: Works to stop symptoms from developing, by reducing inflammation. This is usually brown and contains inhaled steroid medicines.

Regular visits to see your child's GP or paediatrician are also really important to monitor progress and adjust doses of medication.

If you are concerned about your child, please seek a medical assessment. For more information about asthma please see the links below and feel free to get in touch at should you have any questions or concerns.

Below we have included links to some useful information:

New Childhealthy advice articles

If you are looking for more information on other health-related topics for your children, our latest advice articles include:

The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding: This is a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about breastfeeding, from the benefits of breastfeeding to positions and techniques.

Hepatitis In Children: In light of the recent outbreak of acute hepatitis in children, Childhealthy has produced an insightful article that covers everything you need to know about hepatitis in children; from types and causes to symptoms and treatment.

Childhealthy updates

Running 100km for Brain Tumor Research.

After hearing the saddening news of a friend’s brain tumor diagnosis, Dr Yiannis decided to undertake the mammoth task of running 100km across the month of May - with the goal of raising funds for the charity Brain Tumour Research. With over £4500 raised so far, he has exceeded his initial target of raising £2500 and ran just past 120 km during May, but let’s not stop there!

As an organisation that solely relies on kind donations from members of the public, Brain Tumor Research aims to find a cure for all types of brain tumours by campaigning to increase national investment in research, whilst fundraising to build a network of seven sustainable Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence across the UK.

Through supporting Dr. Yiannis' efforts, we have already raised enough money to fund an entire day of research (£2740), but there is still much work to be done.

Please consider donating to the JustGiving page by clicking here. Any amount of money can make a real difference for this incredible cause. Thank you for your help and continued support.

How to reach us

Follow us on our social channels for regular updates from the Childhealthy team, and as always please do let us know about any topics you want to see covered via email –

Have a great rest of your month, enjoy what June has to offer and we look forward to catching up again next month.

Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team