An asthma charity has urged parents of children with asthma to take steps before they return to school next week to prevent trips to hospital.
Asthma and Lung UK said the number of life-threatening asthma attacks is expected to increase in the coming weeks as there are year-on-year spikes in hospital admissions for asthma attacks in September after children return to school.
Reasons for this have been suggested including children being exposed to more triggers, such as cold and flu viruses, when they return to education.
In addition, it is suspected that some fall out of the habit of taking their preventive inhaler with them in the summer and this continues during the first weeks of school.
Parents are encouraged to ensure that their children take their medication as prescribed.
They are also encouraged to ensure children have their reliever inhaler and spacer with them to school, as well as ensuring they have had their annual asthma check.
The most recent data available on figures for asthma attacks in children is 2018, where 1,795 children were admitted to hospital in England in September of that year.
This was a sharp increase from the 435 adopted in August 2018.
Emma Rubach, head of health advice at Asthma and Lung UK, said: “Back to school should be an exciting time for children, and the last thing any parent wants is to see their child in hospital fighting for their life after an asthma attack. .
“The best thing parents can do to prevent their child from having an asthma attack is to make sure they take their birth control inhaler – usually brown – every day as directed, this will help calm the inflammation in their airways and reduce the risk of an asthma attack.
“We would encourage parents to ensure their child has their reliever inhaler – usually blue – and spacer at school to use if they have asthma symptoms and ensure their child has an annual review with their GP or asthma nurse, this should include a check of make sure they use their inhaler correctly and have a written asthma action plan.
“We would advise anyone who has a child with asthma to get more advice and support from the Asthma and Lung UK website or our helpline.”