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Children's Health Matters: Winter asthma care for your child

Asthma symptoms can become more pronounced during winter, making it crucial to manage your child's condition effectively.

Asthma symptoms

Your child may have asthma if they exhibit:

  • Wheezing (a whistling sound when breathing)

  • Breathlessness or shortness of breath

  • A tight chest

  • Frequent coughing

Asthma triggers in winter

Cold air, as well as winter infections like colds and flu, can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Other triggers include:

  • Allergies (e.g. to pollen or animal fur)

  • Smoke, fumes, and pollution

  • Sudden changes in weather

  • Exercise

Treatment and management

Asthma treatment typically involves inhalers and medication, sometimes supplemented by complementary therapies like breathing exercises. Your child's GP or asthma nurse will provide a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs.

Day-to-Day Management

  • Proper inhaler use: Ensure your child knows how to use their inhaler effectively.

  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet can help control symptoms.

  • Exercise: Encourage regular physical activity but be mindful of triggers.

  • Vaccinations: Make sure your child has all their vaccinations, including the free annual flu jab.

  • At school: Ensure that your child's school has all the necessary information about their condition, including an asthma care plan.

Asthma attacks: know the signs and actions

Signs your child might be having an asthma attack include difficulty breathing, quick breathing, inability to talk/walk/eat, and increased use of and/or unresponsive to blue reliever.

What to do during an asthma attack

  1. Sit your child upright and try to remain calm.

  2. Administer one puff of their blue reliever inhaler (via spacer if you have one) every 30-60 seconds, up to 10 puffs.

  3. Call 999 if symptoms worsen or don't improve.

  4. If the ambulance hasn't arrived within 15 minutes, repeat step 2.


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