7 things you need to know about the Asthma Handbook update

Going back to school, advice for patients at risk from thunderstorm asthma and risk factors for life-threatening flare-ups are among the additions

A major update of the GP’s go-to for all things asthma related, the Australian Asthma Handbook, has been released.

The 8 March revision — the first since the handbook went online in 2014 — focuses on paediatric asthma.

Here are seven things that are new or different:

  1. Management of children is divided into two age ranges: 1-5 years and 6 and over. There is no guidance for treating asthma in children under one, emphasising the low probability of the condition in this age group. A paediatrician’s advice is recommended if asthma is suspected.
  2. Doctors are encouraged to ask parents to film their children when having a (non-emergency) episode of wheezing to help with diagnosis. Examples of children wheezing can be seen in a video for parents produced by the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne (in the handbook and also below).
  3. When