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Child health advice for parents in West Kent

User AvatarPosted by at 18/09/2013 09:46:49

The number of children rushed to hospital for asthma peaks this week.

As the children are all back at school and cooler weather sets in, mid September sees an influx of bad asthma attacks amongst children.

NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the Asthma UK’s ‘Teach Asthma a Lesson’ campaign by providing parents across the area with advice on how to reduce their child’s chances of having a bad asthma attack.

The Asthma UK campaign is urging parents whose children suffer from asthma to use the resources it has on its website such as sticker charts to monitor their child’s asthma and manage it.  The resources and further advice are available from http://www.asthma.org.uk/advice-children-and-asthma

The CCG is also offering some top tips to parents on how to treat other childhood ailments such as coughs and colds, chest infections and chickenpox.

Advice includes:

• Check out www.nhs.uk for information on children’s health and symptoms of common childhood diseases such as measles and chicken pox.

• Have a thermometer in the home and know how to check your child for a fever - 37.5C (99.5F) and over is a fever.

• Have over-the-counter medicines such as liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen handy to treat a fever.

• Help your child recover from a cold or cough by making sure they drink plenty of fluids and get rest. Give them time to recover from a cold – seek advice if it lasts longer than 10 days.

• If your child has a bad cough that won’t go away, see your GP.

• If your child also has a high temperature and is breathless, they may have a chest infection – seek advice from a GP.

• If a cough continues for a long time, especially if it’s worse at night or is brought on by your child running about, it could be a sign of asthma.

• If you’re worried about your child, trust your instincts and seek advice.

• Look out for symptoms that may be a sign of a more serious illness such as being unusually sleepy, not drinking for more than eight hours or having a rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is pressed firmly against the skin.

Dr Mark Ironmonger , NHS West Kent CCG's Lead for Paediatrics, Maternity and Dermatology, said: “We want to help parents to make sure their children stay healthy, and to know what to do if they become unwell.

"Coughs and colds are always common in children through the winter months but what many parents don't realise is that they can't be treated with antibiotics. It's common for children to have eight or more colds every year, and symptoms generally ease within five to seven days."

Dr Ironmonger says parents should ensure children have more to drink and rest when they are unwell.

"Parents should ensure children have enough fluids and rest to help their body fight the germs. Good hygiene is also really important to reduce the risk of spreading germs so reminding children about washing their hands regularly, and teaching them how to do it properly, is really important."

The CCG reminds parents to seek medical advice for children who are very ill or have an exceptionally high temperature which can’t be reduced with off the shelf pain relief, or a persistent cough and/or fever. It urges parents to call their own GP or NHS 111 when the surgery is closed.