Easing your child’s wheezing
If your child is the one of 9 Aussie kids1 with asthma, you will already know that asthma is one of the main causes of hospitalisations in children. It’s also one of the most common reasons for kids to see doctors and/or miss school2.
You could help your child BREATHE BETTER
An asthma diagnosis can be pretty distressing and although asthma cannot be cured, for most children it can be well-controlled by following a daily management plan3.
If your child’s asthma is managed effectively, they should only experience occasional asthma symptoms and enjoy the freedom to play sport, participate in physical activity and have fun without worrying too much.
Need for asthma management
With good asthma management you can help your child lead a healthy life and take only as much medication as is needed to keep them well. Managing your child’s asthma effectively will help to:
- Keep symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightness in chest under control.
- Keep airways clear and lungs as healthy as possible.
- Reduce flare-ups or asthma attacks.
- Allow your children to enjoy school routine and activities.
Why is asthma management important?
Make an appointment with your GP before school commences to work through a detailed, written asthma action plan outlining the medications your child should be taking on a daily basis, including time and frequency of dosage. The asthma action plan must also include emergency medications and detailed notes on who, when and how they should be administered.
Preventers and relievers
One of the more common symptoms of asthma is wheezing and for most school-aged children getting asthma ready for back to school, two types of medications are needed:
Preventers – If a preventer is prescribed for your child, this should be taken every day for ongoing asthma management. Regularly using preventers is important, as they reduce the inflammation in the airways, which helps to control the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms. Preventer medications help your child be less susceptible to the risk of future flare-ups.
Relievers – Blue/grey relievers are used to help provide short-term relief from asthma symptoms, such as continuous coughing, wheezing and tightness in chest. However, they are not a treatment medication for the underlying problem of airway inflammation and excess mucous production. If your child is using their reliever more than two days a week, speak to your local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist for expert advice on better asthma management for your child.
Whether your little one is using a preventer and/or reliever medication that is packaged as a puffer, we recommend using a spacer along with the puffer. A spacer is a tube-like device that attaches to an asthma puffer. It allows more medication to reach the lungs and makes it easier for your child to take their metered dose, without having to worry about perfecting the technique. This plastic device works effectively with both, preventer and reliever puffers for better results.
Label all devices
Help your child be asthma ready as they head back to school this year by labelling all their puffer medications and devices, such as a spacer. Share your child’s asthma action plan with all the teaching and non-teaching staff providing care. Speak to your local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist for tips on preparing your asthma action plan. Ask us in store for a FREE* spacer label for your child.
Here are some tips on maintaining your child’s spacer:
- Dismantle your spacer and wash the parts with mild detergent and warm water, once a month or after any cold or respiratory infection.
- Allow the parts to air dry in a vertical position, without rinsing. Be careful not to use a cloth to dry as it may create static causing the medication to stick to the spacer.
- Remember to replace your spacer every 12 months.
Speak to your local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist for expert advice on managing asthma in school-aged children and demonstration on using a spacer.
1Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016; National Health Survey: First Results 2014-15. ABS Cat no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Accessed online: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/asthma/data
2Asthma: treatment and management, Canberra: AIHW. Accessed online: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/asthma/contents/treatment-management
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