Asthma is common. One in ten children have current diagnosed asthma.
It is essential that families and staff work together to achieve the best health and learning outcomes for children with asthma.
Asthma Australia provide a variety of resources and information for early childhood services here including fact sheets for educators, owners, managers and authorities. There is also information available to give to parents and carers to support children with asthma.
The below text was written by Debra Kay (Former CEO of Asthma Australia) in ECA’s Every Child magazine.
One in 10 children is diagnosed with asthma. It is one of the most common reasons children visit the doctor and go to hospital.
It is not fully understood why children develop asthma, though people with asthma often have a family history of asthma, eczema and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). There is no way of knowing whether a child will continue to have asthma, although there are some risk factors for continuing asthma in some children.
Asthma is different for everyone—people can have different triggers, symptoms and medications for their asthma, and these can also change. Young children can be prescribed asthma medication, depending on how frequently they experience symptoms and how unwell they become. All young children with asthma should have a blue reliever puffer, spacer and mask to relieve symptoms if they have an asthma attack. Some children also have preventer medications, which need to be used daily for the period specified by their doctor, even when the child is well.
All children with asthma should have a written plan which outlines their asthma care. All educators and carers should be trained to administer asthma first aid. This includes administration of salbutamol via the child’s own blue reliever puffer, or one from an asthma emergency kit. It’s best to use a spacer and mask to make sure the medication is delivered effectively.
Healy, T. (2012), Annual Evaluation Report—Asthma Child and Adolescent Program. In possession of Asthma Australia, Kent Town, South Australia.