Dr Mark Rosenthal


Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8754

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

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An asthma attack can be a frightening experience for both you and your child so it is important to know how to react when it happens. The right preparation can help you to stay calm and take the right steps to stop the attack.

Your doctor will help you to come up with a personalised asthma attack treatment plan for your child as well as giving you medication or advice to help reduce the chances of an attack. Although everyone’s plan for an asthma attack will be different, your child’s plan will probably include the following steps. Older children should be able to learn to take these steps by themselves in case you aren’t there when an attack happens, but you should make sure that everyone in the family knows what to do.

Using the Inhaler or Spacer

Your child may have an inhaler to use to prevent attacks, but they will usually also be given a differently coloured inhaler to use for asthma attack treatment. When you or your child recognise the start of an asthma attack, the first step in your action plan will usually be to take one or two puffs on the reliever inhaler. Younger children may be given a spacer and a face mask to use instead. Your child should sit down and concentrate on breathing slowly and steadily while the medicine does its work. If the inhaler or spacer doesn’t help, your child will need to take additional doses.

Calling for Help

Your child’s medication will often be enough to stop an asthma attack, but if the symptoms don’t go away you should call an ambulance. Even if the preventative asthma attack treatment works, it is still important to see your doctor in the next 24 hours.

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