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Spike in asthma attacks expected

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/01/2017

A group has urged parents to prepare ahead of an expected spike in asthma attacks © iStock/Getty Images A group has urged parents to prepare ahead of an expected spike in asthma attacks Parents and teachers are being urged to prepare themselves for an annual spike in asthma attacks and hospital admissions among students returning to school after the holidays.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ says studies have shown that a spread of viral infections among returning school children is likely to be the main cause for the hospitalisations.

But other causes included less strict management of a child's asthma compared to during the holidays, a change in environment with greater exposure to allergens and a change in emotions, such as stress and anxiety.

"Asthma attacks are particularly common for children when going back to school, especially following the long summer holiday," the foundation's Teresa Demetriou said.

With Kiwi kids under-15 admitted to hospital 3730 times in 2013 alone, Ms Demetriou said parents should provide schools an Asthma Action Plan that included emergency contact details.

Parents should also ensure their children take preventer medication, have their inhaler on them and know what their asthma triggers are so they can avoid them.

"It's important to reduce exposure to germs, which includes washing hands with soap as needed," she said.

"We also highly recommend all families with asthma to get their flu vaccination in March."

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