There are a number of things you can do to help prevent asthma attacks. Triggers can be different for each child and it is important to identify what triggers their asthma.


Around the home

House dust mites, pets, mould and pollen can be a trigger for people with asthma. Pollen comes from trees, grasses and weeds and is spread by the wind and insects.

Visit Asthma + Lung UK which has more advice about allergens,

Pollen and hay fever

Asthma + Lung UK also explain how pollen can cause hay fever which can trigger asthma, and what practical steps can be taken to plan ahead and reduce the risk of an attack.

Smoking

Smoking increases the severity and frequency of symptoms. Parents should not smoke indoors and children should not take up smoking. Even if smoking outside the home, cigarette particles on clothes can trigger asthma. Get help to quit, call Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044 (free call).

To get help stopping smoking, look for a stop smoking service here.

Vaping

Children and young people should not vape as their developing lungs and brains are more sensitive to its effects. In the UK, it is against the law to sell nicotine vaping products to under-18s or for adults to buy them on their behalf.  Resources about the risks of vaping for young people, developed by Smokefree Sheffield and ASH for families and schools can be found here and

Talking to Young People about Vaping: Young people and vaping – Better Health – NHS (www.nhs.uk) and Vapes | FRANK (talktofrank.com)

Exercise

Exercise can trigger shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing or chest tightness in some people but lack of exercise will lead to weight gain which can make symptoms worse. Your child should be able to keep up with their peers if their asthma is properly managed.

Viral infections

Cold, flu or other respiratory infections can make asthma worse. Getting vaccinated for the flu each year can help. There’s now a nasal spray or injection that children as young as four can access. It is usually available at school for children in years 1 and 2, from doctors’ surgeries and local pharmacies.

More information