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Monday 15 September 2014

Hospital admissions for children with asthma could soar 250pc next month

Published 20/08/2014 | 02:30

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Asthma is one of the most common medical conditions in Ireland – affecting one in five children
Asthma is one of the most common medical conditions in Ireland – affecting one in five children

HOSPITAL admissions for children suffering from asthma could rise by a startling 250pc next month.

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And the condition will prove a setback for many children as they try to get into the rhythm of a new school year.

The excitement and stress of the first day back after the summer holidays can be a major "trigger" for asthma attacks.

And experts also say the arrival of seasonal colds and viruses in the coming weeks are another major problem.

Asthma is one of the most common medical conditions in Ireland - affecting one in five children.

Most recent figures reveal admissions for those aged 
between five and 14 years were up sharply between August and September in 2012. And with the ending of summer, the length of the average hospital stay also sharply increased.

Frances Guiney, a nurse specialist with the Asthma Society of Ireland, said September can be one of the most "dangerous" times of the year for children who suffer from the condition.

"One factor is that the air quality in schools may not be great - and that certainly can cause problems," she told the Irish Independent.

She also said the regularity of taking required medication may also be an issue.

But overall the increase in hospital admissions during September is primarily caused by failure to have "proper procedures" in place.

"It's so important children take their medication, and that parents and teachers are aware of anything that worsens a child's condition,'' she added.

"It needs to be acted upon when a sufferer's condition deteriorates."

Ms Guiney also said parents needed to be very aware if the condition of a particular child was affected by medication requirements.

The Asthma Society of Ireland is hosting free mobile asthma clinics nationwide from September 15-26.

The clinics aim to advise parents and teachers of ways to better manage and respond to children's asthma.

Hosted across a range of towns and cities, with dedicated visits to primary schools, they will provide practical advice on inhaler technique and general management of the condition.

A specialist trained nurse will help children learn more about asthma, and parents and teachers will be urged to put in place a management plan and school policy to better control the condition.

For additional advice or support, or for further information about the free asthma clinics, visit asthma.ie.

Irish Independent

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