An asthma attack happens when a child can’t get enough air into their lungs, they may cough and wheeze. The checklist below will help you understand what is happening and what action to take.

  • Stay with them and send someone to get their spacer and inhaler.
  • Reassure your child and try to keep them calm.
  • Sit them up and slightly forward.
  • Spray one puff of their inhaler and then get them to take five breaths.
  • Get them to repeat this up to 10 times if needed.
  • If there is no improvement, call an ambulance.
  • If the ambulance hasn’t arrived and they are still short of breath repeat the steps above.
  • Get expert advice to help your child get better faster with Asthma + Lung UK’s Asthma Attack Recovery Plan for Children.

Once your child has been discharged from hospital you may find this video, developed by the children and young people’s asthma team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Cambridge University Hospitals, useful.