An asthma attack can be very scary, for both you and your child, but it will be easier if you are well prepared. Using medication and avoiding triggers can reduce the chances of an attack, but you still need to know what to do if it happens. Your respiratory paediatrician will ensure you know exactly how to respond.

Follow Your Action Plan

Every child with asthma will have an action plan that sets out the steps you should take during an attack. It is vital to ensure that you understand this plan and that your child’s inhaler is always available in case it is needed, wherever you are. Although the action plan will be personalised for your child, it will typically involve the following steps:

  • Get your child to sit down with a straight back

  • Reassure your child and help them to calm down as much as possible

  • Give the reliever inhaler according to your respiratory paediatrician’s instructions. It is usually a blue inhaler that is used every 30 to 60 seconds until the symptoms improve, for up to ten puffs

  • The inhaler can usually be used again after a break, if necessary

When to Call an Ambulance

An asthma attack can be very serious, so it is always important to see your respiratory paediatrician after one happens. However, in some cases it is necessary to seek urgent care. You should call an ambulance during an asthma attack if:

  • Your child isn’t feeling better after using the inhaler

  • The symptoms are getting worse

  • You are worried and need immediate help

You don’t have to wait until you’ve completed the action plan to call an ambulance. If you think that your child needs urgent medical attention, you should phone 999 right away rather than waiting until you’ve delivered ten puffs from the inhaler. It’s always better to be safe and call for help, so don’t worry that you might be overreacting or wasting anyone’s time. An asthma attack is a real emergency that requires quick action. Even if you are able to control the symptoms at home, your child will still need to see their doctor afterwards.

Professor Parviz Habibi Available At

The New Malden Diagnostic Centre

171 Clarence Avenue, Surrey, KT3 3TX

The Portland Hospital Out Patient Centre

205-209 Great Portland, Street London, W1W 5AH