Harrow Council is supporting a London-wide campaign this September to improve the health of young people who live with the condition.
This year’s campaign was recently launched by Healthy London Partnership and the NHS in London and is supported by the Mayor of London.
Cllr Krishna Suresh, Harrow’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Equalities, said:
“We know that most asthma related admissions to hospital for children occur in September. We want to encourage young people, teachers, carers and parents to understand the risks asthma poses and be aware that these can be particularly acute at this time of year.
“Ensuring that families living with asthma know about the condition, have a plan to manage it and can medicate effectively, can significantly improve the quality of life for those children and young people affected.”
The #AskAboutAsthma campaign wants to encourage health professionals, children and young people and their families to ASK for three simple effective interventions to help them control their asthma:
- Has the child got an asthma management plan that describes things like current medication, and what to do in the event of an asthma attack?
- Can the child use their inhaler effectively?
- Has the child had an annual asthma review with their GP/Health professional?
The Healthy London Partnership has also developed an asthma toolkit for schools, which Harrow is promoting.
There continues to be a significant focus across London on air quality, a contributor to the condition.
Harrow supports initiatives to reduce pollution by encouraging sustainable forms of transport, including use of electric vehicles.
Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition affecting children and young people.
1 in 10 children and young people are affected by the condition, meaning 240,000 have asthma in London.
Recent analysis published by Public Health England found that GP appointments for children with asthma increase in September, with cases more than doubling and boys more likely to need help.
The total number of emergency hospital admissions for asthma nationally typically jumps between August and September from around 3,500 to more than 6,000.
The combination of coughs and colds circulating, children getting out of the habit of using inhalers during the summer break, air pollution and the stress of term starting, is thought to contribute to the spike in asthma cases.