To coincide with the start of the new school year and the highest hospital admission rates for asthma (week 38), the NHS is running an awareness campaign – #AskAboutAsthma – to encourage small steps to help improve the quality of life for London’s children and young people living with asthma.
The #AskAboutAsthma campaign encourages
- Each child and young person with asthma to have an asthma management plan
- Each child and young person with asthma to be able to use their inhalers effectively
- Each child and young person with asthma to have a review every year and after every attack
- It also includes the impact of air quality on lung health
Improving the quality of life for children and young people living with asthma
Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition affecting children and young people. 1 in 11 children and young people are affected by the condition.
Poorly controlled asthma affects every aspect of children and young people’s lives – their ability to learn, enjoy time outside the school with friends or take part in sport. It affects their time with their families and how they sleep.
There are three very simple measures that if used consistently for all children and young people with asthma would have a massive impact on the quality of life for these children and young people.
- The use of a written asthma action plan drawn up between a clinician and asthma sufferer means people are four times less likely to have to go to the hospital for their asthma.
- Ensuring every child or young person (and their families/carers) understands how to use their inhaler effectively. Less than ¾ of children and young people have any form of instruction in how to use their inhalers meaning they may not be getting the full benefit of their asthma medication
- An asthma review every year and after every attack will ensure those with asthma recognise their triggers and are able to manage their condition effectively.
Air pollution acts as a trigger for many children and young people with asthma, contributing to asthma admissions and intensive care admissions, and even asthma deaths.
To provide support for this, we have produced the NHS Organisations: Air pollution reduction toolkit. This describes simple and free changes NHS organisations can make to reduce their contribution to air pollution. For more information visit Air Quality
A surge of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) affecting babies and children under 3 years is anticipated during August and September. Please follow local guidelines on how to manage this condition.