Important Notice – Inhalers and Asthma Updates

We have had recent advice from our School Nurse, which will affect all children who have an inhaler kept at school.

Update on inhaler use: We have recently been informed that all spacers need replacing every six months to ensure they are working properly, when the children are using their inhalers at school. The old recommendation was annually(once a year). However, recent research has shown that this is not enough. After half term, we will be asking all parents to provide their child with a new spacer. It is important that we do this as we must in ensure that all children have the correct equipment needed at school in the event of an asthma attack. When using just an inhaler the children will mainly hit the back of their mouths and most of the medication will go into their stomach. The purpose of the spacer is to ensure as much as the medication gets into your child’s lungs as possible. So we need to ensure all spacers in school are working to their best ability in the event of an attack.

What is a spacer?

A spacer is a large plastic container with a mouthpiece and a hole for the aerosol inhaler.

Spacers in brief

  • Spacers are large, empty devices (or tubes) that are usually made out of plastic. They help the children get the best from their asthma medicine if they use a metered dose inhaler (MDI).
  • There are several different brands of spacer that fit different inhalers. They are all available on prescription, or you can buy them from a pharmacist.
  • If  your child, uses a spacer, it’s easier to get the right amount of medicine straight to their lungs where it’s needed. This may mean you need to use less medicine overall. Using a spacer device can also reduce the risk of side effects from your medicine.
  • Your GP, asthma nurse or pharmacist should show you how to support your  child’s inhaler use and spacer properly so that every dose is effective.
  • Spacers with facemasks can be used with babies or with younger children who find it hard to use an ordinary spacer with a mouthpiece.

How to support your child’s use at home

We have also been informed that the children’s spacers need cleaning regularly too.

Please watch the link below for support on how to wash these thoroughly and store the spacers safely!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3tZ-vYok3Q

The recommendation is to clean these at least once a month. In school, all spacers will be cleaned every six weeks or in the case of children using these more often every four weeks.

If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or book an appointment to see our School Nurse who is present at school on a Monday Morning. You can also speak with your child’s Asthma Nurse or seek advice and support from Asthma UK on their website by clicking on the link below:

https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice

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