THOUSANDS of children could be at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks as they return to school, a charity has warned.

Asthma UK said that children might be more vulnerable to asthma triggers such as cold and flu viruses as changes in routine over the summer holidays may mean they forgot to take their preventer medicine.

Last year the number of hospital admissions in Scotland for children with asthma aged five to 14 increased by 67% in August compared to the previous month and was almost double the July figure in September.

Asthma UK said the number of children being hospitalised for their asthma when they return to school could be the tip of the iceberg as many children might have potentially life-threatening asthma attacks but not get hospital treatment.

The charity urged parents and those taking care of children to be on high alert to spot the warning signs of an asthma attack.

Dr Andy Whittamore, clinical lead at Asthma UK and a practising GP, said: “The ‘back to school effect’ of asthma should not be underestimated as it is not only detrimental to children’s education, but it could kill.

“Parents need to ensure children are taking their preventer inhaler which builds up protection in their airways over time.”