Posted by Amanda Crawford at 03/09/2018 11:14:38
As the summer holidays draw to a close, doctors in west Kent are reminding parents to be ready to cope with any back to school ailments and injuries, particularly asthma.
The beginning of a new school year, combined with the onset of autumn, traditionally sees a spike in the amount of children suffering asthma attacks.
Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said “There are some simple things that can be done to reduce the chance of an attack. If your child suffers with asthma, it’s particularly important that they wrap up well as the colder weather starts.
“Make an appointment with your GP to make sure your child’s written asthma action plan is up to date. And that they are getting the most from their medicine.
“It is also important your child knows where their inhaler is, and how and when to use it.
“If your child uses a preventer (brown) inhaler, make sure that you are giving this now, as the temperature drops and the nights become damper”
Signs indicating an attack is likely for your child include puffing on their reliever inhaler (usually blue) three or more times a week, coughing and/or wheezing at night and in the early mornings, breathlessness or saying their tummy or chest hurts.
Dr Bowes added: “If your child’s symptoms are getting worse, give two to four puffs of their reliever inhaler, through a spacer. Space the puffs out so there are 30-60 seconds between them. Their symptoms should ease.
“Make a same day appointment with your GP or ring NHS 111 if it is closed.”
Coughs and colds are also common from this time of year onwards, but parents should remember that antibiotics aren’t usually the answer. Plenty of fluids and rest should be enough to help fight off germs and symptoms will usually ease within five to seven days.
Pharmacists can provide expert, free, confidential advice on other common child health issues such as head lice, upset stomach, conjunctivitis and threadworms. You can simply turn up and ask for advice with no prior appointment. Many treatments are available from as little as £1 from a pharmacy or supermarket. However, pregnant women must not buy medication for threadworms from a pharmacy. They should speak to their GP or call NHS 111.
Many pharmacies in west Kent are part of the Common Ailments scheme, which offers expert advice and free medications for certain illnesses to people who don’t usually pay for their prescriptions. For more information, look out for the Common Ailments Scheme.
Use the NHS Choices website, www.nhs.uk, to find the opening times of your nearest pharmacies and other local services. Visit the Asthma UK website, www.asthma.org.uk/back-to-school to get advice and help on how to avoid a back to school asthma attack for your child.