Asthma Action Plan

Advice to achieve and maintain good control for Children and Young People over 2 years old

If you / your child is:

  • Too breathless to talk / eat or drink
  • Has blue lips
  • Having symptoms of cough/wheeze or breathlessness which are getting worse despite 10 puffs blue (salbutamol) inhaler every 4 hours
  • Confused and drowsy

Ring 999 or 112 (from a mobile) – for immediate help. Give 10 puffs of blue (salbutamol) reliever inhaler every 10 minutes until ambulance arrives. Keep in upright position and reassure them.

If you / your child is:

  • Wheezing and breathless and blue (salbutamol) reliever inhaler 2-5 puffs is not lasting 4 hours
  • Having a cough or wheeze/tight chest during the day and night
  • Too breathless to run/play/do normal activities


Increase blue (salbutamol) reliever inhaler 6-10 puffs every 4 hours. Contact GP/healthcare professional for advice and management. Alternatively phone 111 for 24 hour advice if you are unable to contact your GP

If your child starts to cough, wheeze or has a tight chest but can continue day to day activities

Give 2-5 puffs blue (salbutamol) reliever inhaler every 4 hours until symptoms improve


Keep this plan with you and take it every time you see the doctor or nurse at your GP surgery (or Hospital). This plan is for patients with asthma – your GP/doctor (or nurse) will fill it in and explain the different medicines to control your asthma. It will also show you how to recognise when the asthma or wheeze is getting worse and what to do about it. By taking steps early – acute attacks can usually be prevented.

Standard Technique for use of Spacer with Asthma Inhaler (pressurised metered dose device):

Choose appropriate sized spacer with mask (or mouthpiece if child is over 3 years with good technique and is not significantly short of breath).

1. Shake the inhaler well and remove cap.

2. Fit the inhaler into the opening at the end of the spacer.

3. Place mask over the child’s face or mouthpiece in their mouth ensuring a good seal

4. Press the inhaler once and allow the child to take 5 slow tidal breaths between each dose

5. Remove the inhaler and shake between every puff. Wait 1 minute between puffs.

Repeat steps 1 – 5 for subsequent doses.

Plastic spacers should be washed before 1st use and every month as per manufacturer’s guidelines.

For videos on using your child's inhaler and space correctly see goo.gl/235DQF

Looking after yourself or your child with asthma

  • Ensure your child always has access to their reliever (blue) inhaler and spacer
  • Start reliever treatment early at the start of a runny nose - 2 puffs 4 hourly
  • Remember to leave a spare reliever inhaler (with/without spacer) at school for your child and ensure that it is kept in date
  • Remember to take inhaler with you or your child on any trips away from home
  • Always use the correct inhaler device as prescribed for you or your child
  • Remember a spacer is the best way to deliver reliever treatment in an emergency
  • Remember to keep any follow up appointments and attend their annual GP asthma review
  • If your child has been discharged from hospital following an exacerbation, you should arrange for them to be seen in the next 48 hours by the GP/Practice nurse.

This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

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