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Our blog this month focuses on asthma to support World Asthma Day, which is taking place this year on May 7th. According to the World Health Organisation, Asthma affects up to 235 million people and is the most common chronic disease amongst children!

What is Asthma?

  • A non-curable condition characterised by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing
  • Severity and frequency varies from one person to another
  • Asthma can also present with chest tightness and a cough
  • For some people, symptoms can become worse during physical activity or at night
  • Unmanaged and undiagnosed asthma can lead to asthma attacks, respiratory distress and even death.
  • Asthma can be successfully managed through  inhaled corticosteroids to ease bronchial inflammation
  • Recognising triggers is essential for understanding how to manage the condition

Common Symptoms of Asthma

  • Cough
  • Wheeze
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest Tightness

You don’t have to have all the above symptoms to have asthma and the only way to know for sure is to visit a doctor for an official diagnosis.

Common Triggers of Asthma

  • Cold Aid
  • Exercise
  • Pets
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Alcohol and Diet

Whilst there are common triggers, every person with asthma is different from the next and it is important to understand your own specific triggers.

Signs that a Child is having an Asthma Attack

  • Their reliever inhaler (usually blue) isn’t helping, and/or
  • They can’t talk or walk easily
  • They are breathing hard and fast
  • They are coughing or wheezing a lot
  • They complain of a tummy ache and/or chest ache

How to Respond to an Asthma Attack

  • Sit the child up straight and help them to stay calm
  • Help them to take a puff of their reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30-60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs
  • Call 999 for an ambulance if their symptoms get worse or they don’t feel better after 10 puffs
  • Reassure the child while you wait for an ambulance. Repeat step 2 if the ambulance takes longer than 15 minutes to arrive.

Always call 999 immediately if you don’t have the child’s reliever inhaler with you! Even if you haven’t had to take the child to hospital, it is a good idea to arrange an appointment with a GP, on the same day if possible.

Enjoy the sunshine and let us know if you are doing anything to help raise awareness of Asthma this May!

For more First Aid advice and information why not try one of our Trainingly First Aid Courses or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Best Wishes and Happy Easter

The Trainingly Team

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