Asthmanauts launch – education and activity guide for CYP
20 September 2021
By Dominic Fenn
Asthma Innovation Research
Asthma remains the most prevalent long-term childhood disease and the commonest reason for urgent admissions to hospital in England (1). Yet the achievable goal of freedom from asthma symptoms is still not being met for many children and young people (CYP) (2). Asthma education has a crucial role to play and is associated with reduced morbidity and hospitalisation (3). At Asthma Innovation Research (AIR) we recognise this and have been working hard to promote asthma awareness and improve asthma education. One of our most successful projects has been in the creation of Asthmanauts, a short comic book for children to help them understand and manage their own asthma. This was co-produced with CYP, the Whittington Health NHS Trust (London) and the amazingly talented Rich Sheehan. It is an interactive booklet that involves the child becoming an ‘Asthmanaut’ to defeat the evil space villains with help from Commander Brown (beclomethasone) and Captain Blue (salbutamol).
The latest edition of Asthmanauts has been updated with the help and support of Public Health Camden, Public Health Islington and NHS England (London),
This booklet has already been used and tested across two hospitals with a positive reception from parents, children and healthcare professionals, and results published at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Conference in 2018 (4). In addition, the booklet won the Child Health Promise Prize and will be included in the London Asthma Toolkit.
And while the launch is initially planned for Camden and Islington, the resources are for everyone. Therefore, we have included all the promotional tools and booklet for free on our website for your own launch. If you would like more information or help with the launch, Asthmanauts HQ is ready and waiting.
(1) Childhood asthma, Why is it important? NHS England [Internet]. [Accessed 06 September 2021]; Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/ltc-op-eolc/ltc-eolc/our-work-on-long-term-conditions/si-areas/childhood-asthma/
(2) Why asthma still kills. The National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD) Confidential Enquiry report. [Internet]. 2014 [Accessed 06 September 2021]; Available from: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/why-asthma-still-kills
(3) Coffmann JM, Cabana MD, Halpin HA and Yelin EH. Effects of Asthma Education on Children’s Use of Acute Care Services: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2008;121(3):575–86.
(4) Fenn D, Fleet M, McLeod T, et al. G462(P) Asthmanauts are go! The launch of a new effective educational resource for asthma. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2018;103:A188-A190.