Suffolk Public Health chiefs urge people to take asthma seriously


Around 1 in 11 children in the UK are affected by asthma but not all children have their disease well managed.

Tony Goldson and Abdul Razaq with a practice nurseThere’s no cure for asthma yet but with the right treatment children can lead a normal and active life.

Suffolk County Council Public Health and the Clinical Commissioning Groups of GPs are launching a campaign to raise awareness of the seriousness of asthma. The aim is to encourage parents whose children have asthma to make sure their child has an asthma plan and regular reviews at the surgery.  Practice nurses can help put together a plan and make sure that the child is using their inhaler correctly.

Schools have an important part to play in keeping children with asthma safe, all children who have asthma should have a copy of their asthma plan and a spare reliever inhaler at their school.

Posters highlighting this public health message will be sent to GP surgeries, children’s centres, schools, nurseries, libraries, leisure centres and pharmacies.

Abdul Razaq, Suffolk County Council Director of Public Health and Protection said:

“Whilst asthma is a common childhood condition we want to raise awareness of the importance of managing it well. Managing a child’s asthma requires a partnership approach through support by a range of people including families and schools to ensure that this condition is taken seriously.

“It is vitally important that everyone is aware of what symptoms to look out for and the prompt action that needs to be taken to save lives.”

Councillor Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board said:

“We would like to get this message out there to highlight the importance of making sure asthma in children is well managed.

“It is really important that all children with asthma have a plan and that their school or nursery has a copy of this plan and know how to respond if a child’s asthma should worsen.”

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Signs that your child’s asthma may be currently poorly controlled can include coughing at night and using their reliever inhaler more than 3 times a week. Never ignore worsening symptoms.

“If at any time you are concerned about your child’s asthma - make an appointment with your GP practice for an asthma review.

“And don’t forget the importance of getting protected against flu, it’s not too late, and some young children are entitled to a free vaccination. Ask at your GP practice.”

For further information please visit Healthy Suffolk website.