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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    A parent’s guide to managing asthma

    A parent’s guide to managing asthma

    Posted on April 27th, 2023

    Parents worry about their children – it’s all part of the job! But having a child diagnosed with a condition that can cause breathing difficulties can take that worry to a new level. So, the healthcare experts at YourGP are here to answer some of your most common questions about asthma to help put your mind at ease.

    Yes, asthma has the potential to affect your child’s play, school and sleep but it is important to recognise that there are effective treatments available to manage the condition, enabling them to lead a happy, healthy and active life. Just look at David Beckham, Sir Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, for example – they all have asthma but it certainly hasn’t held them back! So read on for a rundown of the causes, triggers and treatments of this common condition.

    What is asthma?

    Asthma is a fairly common condition that affects the lungs and can cause breathing difficulties. It often starts in childhood, however it can also develop in adults. Some children eventually outgrow the condition, whilst for others it can lie dormant in adulthood. There is currently no cure for asthma, but there are treatments available such as inhalers and medication that can help to control symptoms.

    What are the symptoms of asthma?

    Symptoms of asthma can include wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and feelings of tightness in the chest. If left unchecked, these symptoms can worsen and develop into an asthma attack which can be life-threatening.

    What causes asthma?

    Whilst there has been some research into the root causes of asthma, there is currently not enough evidence to pinpoint one particular factor. However, it is understood that things such as genetics, pollution and modern hygiene standards can potentially contribute.

    What to do if you suspect your child may have asthma

    If you suspect your child may have asthma, it is important to see your GP right away. Before your appointment, make a note of what symptoms they have displayed, when and how often they occur, if there is anything you think may be triggering the symptoms, and any other relevant information such as whether or not they have a family history of asthma, eczema or allergies.

    What happens next?

    Dependent on your child’s age, they may be given an asthma inhaler to see if it helps relieve their symptoms, or they may be referred for some tests.

    Everyday management of asthma

    There are many things you can do to help keep your child’s asthma under control and enable them to lead a normal and happy life. Ensure they use their inhaler regularly, exercise regularly and eat well. Help them to avoid potential triggers, never smoke around them, and make sure they attend their regular check-ups. Also make sure their school is fully informed about their condition so they have access to a reliever inhaler at all times, should they require it.

    What to do if your child has an asthma attack

    An asthma attack is potentially life threatening. If you think your child is having an asthma attack, you should:

    • Get them to sit up straight and try to calm them down as much as possible
    • Get them to take one puff of their reliever inhaler every 30-60 seconds, for up to 10 puffs
    • If they do not feel better after 10 puffs or symptoms worsen, call 999 and request an ambulance immediately

    Speak to the health professionals at YourGP

    If you have any concerns about your child’s health, you can book an appointment using our online booking form, or you can email reception@your.gp or call us on 0131 225 5656 and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you.

    The best place in Edinburgh for private GP services (I have tried several). Very professional practice management able to answer any queries in a very timely manner. The nurse, Lynn is very knowledgeable and caring, able to put not only me but also my three months old son at ease. I am very happy with the service I have received.

    Katharina K

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | his.ihcregulation@nhs.scot

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.