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Asthma first aid guide

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If your child has asthma you need an emergency action plan, regardless of how mild or severe their symptoms usually are. The following are the steps to take during an asthma attack.

1. Sit down

Remain calm and sit your child down.

2. Puffer

  • For children aged 0 to 5 years, give 2 to 6 separate puffs from an inhaler (usually blue) through a spacer.
  • For children aged 6 years or older, give 4 to 12 separate puffs from an inhaler.
  • In between each puff, your child should take four deep breaths.

3. Wait 4 minutes

If there’s little or no improvement, repeat step 2.

If there’s still little or no improvement, call triple zero (000).

4. Call triple zero (000)

  • Ask for an ambulance and state that your child is having an asthma attack.
  • Keep giving puffs from the inhaler through the spacer every 4 minutes (as described above) until the ambulance arrives.

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Last reviewed: April 2023

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