Asthma in children

Asthma is very common in children. For most children, asthma symptoms can be controlled with the right treatment following a personalised asthma action plan.

Our sister charity, Asthma UK, has full information:

Getting an asthma diagnosis for your child

Asthma is the most common lung condition in children and affects around 1 in 11 children in the UK.

Finding out if your child has asthma can take time. From spotting symptoms, to having tests, to getting that final diagnosis, Asthma UK’s expert guide explains each step and gives you easy tips to follow.

Treating and controlling asthma in children

There are tried and tested ways to help your child with asthma stay well and avoid asthma attacks. They include having an asthma action plan and an annual review of your child’s treatment with an asthma nurse or your child’s GP. Our sister charity, Asthma UK, has information on treating your child’s asthma using inhalers and medicines and videos on how to use their inhaler properly.

If you think your child is having an asthma attack

Act quickly. Don’t hesitate to call 999 for help if you need it.

  • Get them to sit up straight
  • Give them their reliever inhaler (usually blue). They might normally only take 2 puffs, but if you think they’re having an attack, it’s OK to give them up to 10 puffs. You should space these out – 1 puff at a time every 30-60 seconds
  • If they don’t have a reliever inhaler, or if their symptoms don’t improve after taking it, call an ambulance
  • If the ambulance is taking longer than 15 minutes to arrive, you can give them their reliever inhaler again in the same way as before.
  • If you need to go to A&E or stay in hospital, take their written asthma action plan with you. See your GP or practice asthma nurse for a review within 2 days of being discharged.

How can I make my child’s life easier?

Read how to make life easier for your child with asthma on the Asthma UK website.

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Last medically reviewed: April 2020. Due for review: April 2023

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.