THE NHS has called on parents in East Lancashire to keep asthma medicine close at hand this week.

NHS chiefs said that children are up to three times more likely to need medical help as the school year starts.

They said that young people and their parents should prioritise taking their medication and preventer inhalers as prescribed.

Jacqueline Cornish, national clinical director for children and young people and transition to adulthood at NHS England said: “Millions of families know that asthma can bring stress and trauma.

"But simple common sense measures like taking medicines at the right time, giving children a spare puffer to take to school and checking in with a pharmacist for inhaler checks, can help parents manage the annual onset of ‘asthma season’ and go a long way to helping keep your child well and out of hospital."

Last year there were 25,128 cases of under-16s going to hospital with asthma.

While analysis by Public Health England found that GP appointments for children with asthma increase this month, with cases more than doubling and boys more likely to need help.

The total number of emergency hospital admissions for asthma also typically jumps between August and September from around 3,500 to more than 6,000.