Bushfires can be a big risk for people with asthma. Smoke and ash can trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, breathlessness, coughing or chest tightness, or even an asthma attack.
Asthma management in the bushfire season
People with asthma living in high-risk bushfire zones should be on high alert for asthma symptoms during bushfire season. Smoke and increased air pollution from fires can trigger symptoms, as can stress and anxiety.
If you have asthma, or if you are responsible for a child or older person with asthma, be aware of the risk, even after the bushfire threat is gone.
People in areas not directly impacted by bushfires are also at risk as winds can carry smoke and ash long distances. Try and reduce your exposure to smoke by staying indoors with doors and windows closed or if you’re in the car, using re-circulated air.
Asthma bushfire plan
Anyone with asthma living in a high-risk bushfire zone should include asthma management in their fire safety survival plan:
- Keep your reliever handy at all times
- Make sure you have plenty of asthma medication available
- If you decide to evacuate make sure your reliever and medications go with you
- Always follow your asthma action plan
First Aid for Asthma
If asthma symptoms occur:
- Follow your asthma action plan
- If you don’t have an action plan, take 4 separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever
- If the symptoms aren’t going away or are getting worse, then follow the steps in First Aid for Asthma
Information contained in this brochure is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a doctor.