Widening our view about asthma

Did you know that asthma is the most common long-term medical condition affecting children and young people? 1 in 11 are affected by the condition, which is around 3 in every London classroom.

Many have badly managed asthma, with over 20,000 admitted to hospital every year in England. Over 4% of these have such a severe episode that they are admitted to intensive care.

That’s why we want you to #AskAboutAsthma.

#AskAboutAsthma is an annual campaign led by NHS England – London Babies, Children and Young People’s Transformation team. We want to help children and young people with asthma, and their families and carers, to understand how to manage their condition so they can live full lives, without missing out. By raising awareness, we can help even more children and young people to ask about asthma and get the right care.

This year’s #AskAboutAsthma campaign week took place during 11-17 September 2023. Details about the 2024 campaign will be shared soon.

Check back soon to view the 2024 campaign page. See 2023 here: #AskAboutAsthma

Resources and asthma information

If you have asthma, or you are the parent of a child or young person with asthma, speak to your GP, GP practice nurse, or local pharmacist to discuss getting an asthma management plan in place.

Find links to information about asthma and how to manage it below. You can also download and share this poster about the common signs and symptoms of asthma.

Asthma resources for young people

  • What is asthma?– 1-minute video explaining the condition and how to manage it

Asthma resources for children

Asthma resources schools, parents and carers

The four asks

There are four simple steps (or asks) which can help children and young people to manage their asthma:

1. Get an asthma action plan in place

A written asthma action plan drawn up between a healthcare professional and patient means you are four times less likely to have to go to hospital for your asthma.

2. Understand how to use inhalers correctly

Less than three-quarters of children and young people know how to use their inhaler. Poor inhaler technique means patients don’t get the full benefit of their asthma medication.

3. Schedule an asthma review – every year and after every attack

An asthma review by an appropriately trained clinician after every attack helps to work out what went wrong so you can adjust your asthma management plan as needed.

4. Consider air pollution and its impact on lung health

Indoor and outdoor air pollution can trigger your asthma. Thinking about air pollution as part of your asthma management can help reduce the risk of asthma attacks.

What to do after an asthma attack

When a child or young person under your care has an asthma attack, it doesn’t always look severe.

Anyone caring for a child or young person with asthma should follow these steps if an asthma attack happens – whether you are a grandparent, teacher, group leader, and so on.

Symptoms can include a cough, wheezing, tight chest or feeling breathless.

  • These symptoms should disappear completely when they use their rescue inhaler as advised in their asthma action plan, or their school asthma plan. If the symptoms do not disappear completely on the maximum dose advised in their plan, then you should call 999.
  • If they do disappear but then come back again in less than 4 hours, they need to use it again and see a doctor immediately – either at the GP if immediately available or by going straight to the emergency department.
  • Even if the symptoms are controlled by the rescue inhaler and the benefits last 4 hours or more, this is still a sign that the person’s asthma is not well controlled. Please make sure you tell their parent/carer to ensure the they are seen by their GP today or tomorrow.

Follow us