Paediatric wards could soon be filled with wheezing, spluttering children who are struggling to battle cold weather and toxic air, say health expertsAs our NHS prepares itself for a winter crisis of hospital bed shortages and emergency admissions, it is our mandate to flag an issue that is continually overlooked. We know that the elderly are susceptible to ill health caused by the drop in temperatures, but the impact on young children with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, is often disregarded. Admissions for people with respiratory conditions almost double during the winter – and the majority of those admitted are young children. The UK is home to more children suffering from respiratory conditions than anywhere else in Europe. Emergency admissions and mortality rates linked to these conditions are also the highest: a child experiencing an asthma attack is admitted to hospital every 20 minutes.
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