The local NHS and Kirklees Council have launched a campaign to encourage parents and guardians of children with asthma to ensure their children keep using their asthma medication throughout the summer holidays – and all year round.

There is a peak in children going to hospital Accident and emergency departments for asthma in September each year.  This may be because some children experience fewer symptoms in the summer holidays and therefore stop taking their asthma medication regularly.  This causes anxiety for those involved, disruption to school attendance and increased pressure and cost to all parts of the NHS.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “There’s currently no cure for asthma, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms manageable so it doesn’t have a big impact on your life.”

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “With treatment, most people with asthma can live normal lives.  There are also some ways you can help keep your symptoms under control.”

Top tips for managing your child’s asthma include:

  • Making sure that they always use their preventer inhalers as explained by their doctor or asthma nurse, even if they have no symptoms. These inhalers are usually brown, orange, red or purple, and need to be taken every day.
  • Having a reliever (blue) inhaler and spacer, to leave at school or nursery. Take the inhaler home at the end of each term to check the expiry date and check how much is left. Remember to take it or a new one back at the start of next term.
  • Making sure your child has enough medicine in their inhaler to last through the holiday.
  • Taking your child to their GP surgery if their asthma is stopping them doing exercise, when playing sports or keeping them awake at night.
  • Ensuring that your child has an annual asthma review with their GP or practice nurse.
  • Making sure children with asthma have the flu jab and pneumonia jab when offered. This will protect them against serious illness. If you are unsure which injections your child should have, please speak to your GP or practice nurse.

Cllr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet member for Health and Social Care, Kirklees Council said: “We are committed to ensuring our children and young people enjoy the best health as we continue to work in partnership to promote, protect and improve the physical and mental health of our young people across Kirklees.”

If your child suffers from asthma you may have received a text message from your GP as a reminder for them to take their asthma medication as prescribed.  Look out for campaign posters and flyers located in local GP practices and pharmacies.

Further information and advice about asthma can also be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk and on the Asthma UK website www.asthma.org.uk/advice

Thanks to our colleagues at NHS Leeds CCG for permission to use the following films.