Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS shares child-friendly advice on managing asthma

One in 11 children and young people in the UK are living with asthma, but would you know how to help someone having an asthma attack?

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) is using this World Asthma Day (Tuesday May 7) to share some child-friendly messaging to help keep them safe and raise awareness of what can trigger such an episode.

Asthma can affect people of all ages and often starts in childhood. While it can improve during adolescence, it can also return or worsen later in life. 

Often triggered by things like smoke, pollution, cold air, exercise, or infections, asthma usually leads to coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

However, it can usually be managed with inhalers and other medication.

Claire Uttley, senior specialist asthma nurse practitioner for children and young people at Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, said: “It is important that those children and young people with the condition understand what triggers their symptoms, but it is just as important for parents, carers, teachers and those around them to be aware.

“Taking steps to manage your asthma is the best form of prevention, so it is always good to be prepared by taking your inhaler with you wherever you go and also to have an up-to-date Personalised Asthma Action Plan (PAAP), which can be requested as part of your asthma review with your GP.”

An asthma action plan reminds you to take your medication every day, but also lists your known triggers. It is good practice to have this agreed with your GP and shared with your child’s school and anyone that may be looking after them.

To make asthma management easier to understand, the ICB has created some child-friendly messaging that covers the use of inhalers, PAAPs, and how to keep the condition under control: LSC Integrated Care Board :: Child-friendly advice on living with asthma (

Claire Uttley added: “Having asthma can be confusing and scary for children and young people, especially in the event of an asthma attack. Making the advice and discussions around medication as easy-to-follow as possible should make it feel a little less daunting for them, and also help others understand what they can do to help.”

To find out more about asthma and how to get a PAAP, visit the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board childhood asthma website.

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