Asthma can be successfully managed with inhalers, but that doesn’t mean that your little one will never have a flare up from time to time. A flare up is when your child experiences a cough, trouble breathing, wheeze or painful feeling in the chest and it is usually caused by allergies, weather changes or viral infections.


Spot it early

While not all flare ups happen gradually over time, tackling it early on is the best way to stop it escalating. Listen out for coughing, irregular breathing, signs of phlegm, sinus headache and fatigue and give your youngster any medicines that will make them feel better.


What happens during a flare up

During a flare up your youngster might struggle to breathe, experience rapid intakes of air, be unable to speak properly or have retractions. A flare up can last anything from a few hours to a few days if left untreated so it is important you do something about it straight away. Call your doctor if your child’s flare up is not going away with medicine or is getting worse.


Create an asthma action plan

An asthma attack can be a life threatening condition so make sure you have an asthma action plan that you can call on when your little one’s asthma flares up. This includes all medical numbers in a convenient place, where to go if it gets really serious and instructions from your doctor on how you can help your youngster cope. Sit down with your little one’s doctor and work out what triggers your youngster’s asthma, how they can manage it and what you can do when they start to experience flare ups.  


How to prevent it

Minimise your child’s exposure to triggers, use inhalers on a daily basis, remove carpets, wash bedding frequently and avoid using strong chemicals. Medication prescribed for asthma sufferers usually involves a reliever and a controller with the former working to relive symptoms and the latter stopping attacks in the first place.