Wheezy Kid – help for parents and carers

This page has been designed for parents and carers to help them support their child with asthma or bronchial wheeze. 

This page provides a brief overview about asthma and the symptoms to look out for and how to use your child’s inhalers correctly, plus useful contact details. 

Your child’s personal asthma or wheeze management plan

The below plans have been designed to help support the management of your child’s asthma or wheeze. Your child should receive a copy of each plan from their healthcare professional who will guide you with how to use them.

My Asthma Plan (Asthma UK copy) – This is a personalised asthma action plan to be used by healthcare professionals for children and parents/carers.

What to do if my child is wheezy (age 2 and over) – To be used together with the My Asthma Plan.

Step Down Plan – To be used as a guide for a reduction in Salbutamol following an acute exacerbation.

If you have any questions about your child’s asthma or management plans, please talk to your GP or healthcare professional.


There are two main types of inhalers; a preventer and a reliever. Preventer inhalers come in many colour and are taken regularly to prevent asthma symptoms. Reliever inhalers are mainly blue in colour are taken to relieve asthma symptoms when they occur.

For advice on how to use your child’s inhaler correctly, please visit the Asthma UK website.

Use the Asthma UK inhaler technique page for advice on how to use your child’s inhaler correctly.

Using a spacer

If your child uses an Aerochamber Plus Flow-Vu with their inhaler, you can visit the Aerochamber website to watch a video on how to use the spacer device correctly.

What is asthma? 

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.

A child with asthma has ‘sensitive’ airways that are inflamed and ready to react to things that can irritate the airways – these can include pets, pollen, cold weather and mould. When the airways react they become narrower and even more irritated. This causes your child to have asthma symptoms and means they find it harder to breathe.

Source: Asthma UK

What are the symptoms of asthma?

The main symptoms of asthma in children are:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest which sometimes children may describe as their chest hurting or as tummy ache

Asthma symptoms may not be present all the time and may come and go. With the right medicines, taken correctly and as prescribed, your child’s symptoms can settle.

Help to stop smoking 

Please speak to your GP for information about stop smoking services in Manchester. Alternatively, there are a number of support services that can help you to quit smoking and who can provide information and advice on how to keep your home and car smoke-free. These support services are:

Useful contacts 

Children’s Community Nursing Team 

Open Monday to Sunday 8:30 am to 9:30 pm
Telephone number: 0161 248 8501

Children’s Asthma Service 

The Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Children’s Asthma Service offers a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency approach to providing a holistic and co-ordinated management, education and support package of care to the child and family with asthma, recognising social, cultural and spiritual differences.

To make an asthma appointment, please contact the Children’s Asthma Service on 0161 248 1226 for venues, dates and times.

Useful websites 

Asthma UK 

Asthma UK is a charity which helps to support individuals (or a parent of a child) living with asthma. Use their website to find lots of useful resources and information on how to help you manage your child’s asthma.

You can also telephone their asthma advice line on: 08457 010203

Choose Well Manchester  

The Choosewell Manchester website provides you with information and advice on how to self care (manage your symptoms) and search for NHS services within your local area including on details on breathing difficulties or asthma in children.

NHS 111

NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.

Get help online or on the phone

To get help from NHS 111, you can:

  • Go to 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only)
  • Call 111

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.