A BORDERS primary school has thrown its weight behind a campaign to help spot the first signs of an asthma attack.

The awareness initiative, aimed at schools, has been launched by health charity Asthma + Lung UK.

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Asthma is the most common long-term medical condition in children in Scotland, affecting around 71,000 youngsters.

Peeblesshire News: Melrose P7 pupil KaydenMelrose P7 pupil Kayden (Image: John Hislop)

In 2021/22 more than 1,400 children ended up in hospital requiring emergency care.

Melrose primary 7 pupil Kayden was diagnosed with asthma two years ago after becoming ill playing basketball.

The 10-year-old said: “I was wheezing really badly and didn’t know why. But I can still play football so long as I remember to bring my inhaler, although sometimes I forget. So it’s important to let my mum and dad or a teacher know if I’m having an attack.”

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Children with asthma have more sensitive, inflamed airways. This means they are more likely to react to common asthma triggers like colds and viruses, pollen, dust mites, pollution, and stress, resulting in coughing, wheezing, feeling out of breath, and having a tight chest.

Rhea Kershaw, acting deputy head at Melrose Primary School, said: “With a number of children with asthma at school, it is vitally important that adults are aware of what the signs are when a child is having an asthma attack.

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“The poster makes the five steps very easy to understand in an emergency, and ensuring parents fill in the school asthma card is important, so we are fully aware of what their child’s asthma triggers and required medication are.”

Joseph Carter, head of Asthma + Lung UK's Scottish branch, said that symptoms of an asthma attack can vary.

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He said: “It is also vital to know what to do in an emergency. Following these five steps if a child is having an asthma attack, could be lifesaving.

"Get the child to sit up, rather than lying them down, and keep them calm.

"Help them to take one puff of their reliever inhaler (usually blue) with their spacer every 30 to 60 seconds, up to 10 puffs.

"If you don’t have their reliever, it’s not helping, or you are worried at any time, call 999 for an ambulance.

"If the ambulance has not arrived after 10 minutes, or the child’s symptoms aren’t improving, repeat step two.

"If there’s no improvement, call 999 again immediately."