Asthma UK has warned parents who have children with asthma to contact their GP if they have concerns about sending them back to school on June 1st.
People with asthma are classed among the clinically vulnerable with regards to coronavirus, but asthma does not make you more likely to catch the virus – although the symptoms can be worse if you do catch it.
As schools begin to reopen as part of the lockdown easing process introduced by the government, many parents who have children with asthma are concerned about their child’s safety.
Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s clinical lead and a practising GP, said: “Going back to school after a long break is usually an exciting time for children. Understandably, we’ve heard that parents of children with asthma are more concerned this time round.
“The best thing you can do for your child, whether they’re in school or at home, is to make sure their asthma is managed well.”
He added: “If you are worried about your child’s asthma, contact their GP, who will be able to advise whether their condition is under control before they return to school.”
The Asthma UK website states: “if you have concerns about your child’s return to school, contact your GP, who will be able to assess whether their asthma is well-controlled”.
If your child is shielding you should not send them back to school – people who are shielding are classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, and will have been told to shield by their GP.
If your child is not shielding but someone in your household is, your child should not return to school until they are able to maintain a stringent social distance from the person that is shielding.
Although having asthma does not make an individual more prone to catching coronavirus, long-term lung conditions can cause the symptoms of coronavirus to be more severe.
The Asthma UK site offers advice to parents, saying that ‘there are things you can do now’ whether your child is returning to school in June or September.
This advice includes getting into a good routine, taking preventer medicines regularly, attending asthma reviews and having an up to date asthma action plan.
Your asthma review may have been postponed due to COVID-19, however, so the site says to get in touch with your GP surgery to rearrange an appointment over the phone.
If you need an urgent appointment with a GP or asthma nurse as your child is using their reliever inhaler three or more times a week, coughing or wheezing at night or feeling out of breath, you should do so.
The site also advises parents to find out who will be working with your child at school as this may have changed due to COVID-19, and to make sure they are aware of your child’s symptoms and have a copy of their asthma action plan.
As schools begin to reopen the new protocol will be smaller classes with no more than 15 pupils, a bigger emphasis on hand washing and school-specific social distancing measures.
Asthma UK urges parents to keep an eye out for communication from your school and to contact them if you have further questions.
The government has also said that children and teachers do not need to wear a face mask in school, but people should wear non-surgical face coverings when it is not possible to socially distance, such as on public transport. A face mask may also make breathing harder for people with asthma, so you might not wear one if this is this case for you or your child.
You can read the full release from Asthma UK here.
Son found not guilty of killing dad as family applaud verdict
The pair had an argument at their home
A man has been found not guilty of murdering his father – and of an alternate offence of manslaughter – following a week-long trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Joseph McGowan, 20, was accused of murdering his father Darren McGowan, 51, during an argument at their home in Stockport earlier this year.
Prosecutors alleged that in the early hours of April 30th, three people left the address after a row had developed between Joseph and his dad.
A Jury was told that Joseph ‘lost his temper’ and put Darren in a chokehold or ‘headlock’.
He phoned 999 and told the operator that his dad ‘wasn’t breathing’ and told police officers arriving at the scene: “Me and my dad were arguing and I don’t know what to do. We were fighting and I choked my dad out.”
Joseph denied murder and the alternate offence of manslaughter. After Joseph was acquitted, his family applauded and jumped up from their seats in the public gallery, as the judge told him he was free to leave.
Prosecutor Owen Edwards KC told the trial at Manchester crown court: “We do not say that Joseph McGowan intended to kill his father. What we say is that he lost his temper and meant to really hurt him.
“We say he knew his father was drunk and in poor health and that he intended the serious harm that resulted from his choking action.”
Mr Edwards said Darren was married to Angela McGowan and that the couple had two sons together, with Joseph being one.
He told the court that in 2022, Darren suffered from an aneurysm shortly before his business ‘failed’ and he began ‘drinking too much’.
The prosecutor said as a consequence, the marriage struggled, with the couple separating for short periods of time. Mr Edwards said: “Most of the time, it seems, he got on well with Joseph McGowan.”
Two weeks before the fatal incident, Jurors heard how Joseph got into an argument with his dad who ‘goaded’ him calling him a ‘p****’.
Joseph hit him causing him to fall and hit his head against a windowsill, resulting in a wound to his head, it was said.
On April 30th this year Angela McGowan came back to the family home, on Glebe Street, in Offerton, along with three of her colleagues from the Midway pub to continue drinking.
They drank with Darren who had been invited to stay over, the court heard. And at one point Joseph came downstairs to join them, it was said.
During the evening, one friend was sick and left early before Angela went upstairs to change into her dressing gown.
The prosecutor said: “Darren was telling her she was drunk and embarrassing and she responded ‘it’s my f****** house’, before Joseph ushered her upstairs.
“At 2.14am, Joseph McGowan took a video of the remaining members of the group, which included Darren McGowan. This was less than an hour before Darren had been fatally injured by his son.”
Prosecutors allege that Darren went to check on Angela upstairs before telling everybody to leave, at which point Joseph responded that ‘it wasn’t his house’, before an argument ensued with one of the group briefly intervening.
The two remaining members of the group left the address leaving Joseph and Darren together, then a quarter of an hour later at 3.07am, Joseph McGowan called 999.
When officers attended Joseph had his top off and was found with numerous scratches all over his back, the court heard. Darren was rushed to hospital but was declared dead on May 3rd due to an ‘unsurvivable brain injury’, it was said.
A pathologist found that Darren had bruising to his larynx and to the soft tissues at the back of his throat, as well as bruising to his face, eye socket and collarbone.
A post mortem report concluded that the bruising was consistent with compression of the neck by headlock or chokehold and the cause of death was recorded as a brain injury caused by cardiac arrest, the court heard.
Giving evidence, Joseph McGowan said the pair had a brief fight upstairs before he got into a row with his mum downstairs.
Darren McGowan came downstairs and shouted at Joseph McGowan ‘Don’t talk to my wife like that’, the court heard. Joseph said: “I told him to f*** off. That was when he rugby tackled me onto the sofa.
“I grabbed onto the closest thing. I grabbed him in a headlock because he is a larger man than me. I was scared.”
He then said his dad had lifted him up and ‘smashed him’ into the sofa twice, before he collapsed on the living room floor. Then realising his dad was unconscious, Joseph rang 999 immediately.
When asked to describe their relationship, Joseph broke down in tears and said: “I loved him. We trained together. If my friends didn’t want to go out I would ask my dad. We were just a normal family. We enjoyed spending time together.”
Everything we know so far about Chanel’s upcoming fashion show in Manchester
Global superstars are expected to jet into the city for the huge fashion event
Chanel is coming to town and here’s all we know so far about the huge event, and the celebrities rumoured to be attending.
The cat is out of the bag, after weeks of strange goings on around Manchester’s Northern Quarter, including the construction of a huge roof, we now know Chanel will be bringing its Métiers d’Art show to our city.
Shrouded in secrecy over the past weeks, the iconic French luxury fashion house Chanel will showcase its new collection on a catwalk along Thomas Street and High Street on Thursday, December 7th.
The annual Métiers d’Art show will be Chanel’s first show in the UK in ten years. On why the luxury designer label chose Manchester for its upcoming show, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, said the city is ‘audacious and interesting’.
Around 600 invite-only guests are expected to turn out including supermodels, celebrities, fashion editors, influencers and industry insiders.
It’s believed 400 of those will be VIPs with strong Manchester links including former Manchester United and England star David Beckham and his wife, Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.
These Chanel fashion shows usually choose a location that ties in with the theme of the collection which typically fuses art, fashion and culture in a show that is expected to last around 45 minutes.
Luxury hotels around the city are fully booked out in preparation for the huge event, attracting superstars in the world of showbiz and fashion from all around the world.
Many businesses located along the street of the catwalk have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) while the transformation has been taking place, and are set to close for three days.
Some local establishments in the area have accepted a sum of money to compensate for the disruption caused to business, with one reportedly being given around £47,000 to close for ‘a couple of weeks’ – as reported in the Manchester Evening News.
An ultra-exclusive after party has reportedly been planned to take place in the Grade-II listed building of Victoria Baths, with its stunning art nouveau stained-glass windows and tiled interior with unique features.
The website of the baths, located on Hathersage Road, doesn’t have any upcoming events listed – as the heritage building usually does.
Many Mancunians have asked for the Thomas Street roof structure to be left as a gift from Chanel to Manchester, as it will also help shelter people from typical Northern weather.
For those who won’t be able to attend the event and are feeling a little left out, Chanel has now confirmed that the runway show will be released as a film for everyone to see. It will go live on Friday morning at 9am in the UK (10am in France).
The French designer shared an Instagram post stating: “The film of the show will be revealed on Friday, December 8th at 9am Manchester time, 10am Paris time.”
The Métiers d’Art Chanel show is a celebration of haute couture and a testament to Chanel’s dedication and contribution to fashion, known for its timeless elegance, and will showcase the hottest trends to come in the new season.
Fans across the city will be getting their hopes up of seeing the likes of Timothée Chalamet or one of the Kardashians – who are rumoured to be attending. We can’t wait to find out…
Boy, 14, tragically dies after eating berries on walk at park in Manchester
A coroner has issued a warning
A 14-year-old boy has tragically died after consuming berries while on a family walk at a park in South Manchester.
Benn Curran-Nicholls collapsed and died after eating the berries while on a walk with his dad, the coroner said.
He was poisoned after ingesting leaves and berries from a yew tree in Fletcher Moss Park, in Didsbury.
The inquest heard how the teenager had severe autism and liked the routine of his daily walks with his father in the park where he enjoyed climbing the yew tree – both were unaware of the risks.
After returning home from a walk on September 18th last year, Benn became unwell and ‘slumped’ before his ‘eyes started to roll around his head’ and was rushed to hospital by emergency ambulance.
He was given ‘several hours of medical attention’ at the Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital, where he tragically died, the inquest heard.
A post-mortem concluded Benn had suffered ‘refractory cardiogenic shock’.
Coroner Andrew Bridgman has now issued a report to stress the dangers of eating yew tree berries.
He also criticised the ‘illogical’ decision not to put out a public health warning following Benn’s death.
In the report, Mr Bridgman wrote: “Benn Curran-Nicholls moved to Didsbury with his family from Australia in June 2022.
“Benn suffered severe autism with intellectual impairment, and daily walks in the local parks became part of his daily routine.
“On the morning of September 18th 2022, Benn and his father went for a walk in Fletcher Moss Park where, among other things, there was a yew tree that Benn liked to climb.
“Benn ate some yew tree berries and also some of the leaves. Benn’s father was not aware of the poisonous nature of the yew tree berries/leaves, and so took no action.
“Interestingly, neither was, in his evidence to me, Manchester City Council’s Neighbourhood Manager for Environmental Health aware that yew trees were poisonous.
“Later that day at about 6pm, Benn suddenly collapsed. He was admitted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital by emergency ambulance where he died in the early hours of September 19th, 2022.
“Toxicological evidence was that yew tree poisoning in humans was rare, but that a number of cases had been reported.”
Following Benn’s death, discussions took place between the council and the UK Health Security Agency regarding alerting the public to the dangers of yew trees.
An email from UKHSA to the council read: “We agreed at present that there was probably a risk of doing more harm than good from any comms put out, we would be very concerned about unintended consequences from comms messages, e.g. highlighting the risk of harm which may in turn provide a source for people to self-harm as a potential route for suicide.”
The coroner recorded the cause of death as ‘yew tree poisoning’ and described the decision not to issue a warning as ‘illogical’ in his prevention of future deaths report.
In the report, he continued: “Berries and the like might be attractive to young children who would not recognise the dangers and risks, of even illness let alone death. Poisonous nature of the yew tree is not, on the evidence, well known to the public.
“The decision appears to be focused on comms solely about the yew tree and the risks of identifying an additional means of deliberate ingestion for suicide. No consideration was given to highlighting the risks of eating wild berries and/or leaves in more general terms.
“In the circumstance it is my view that the decision not to put out public health messages, either specific to the yew tree or in more general terms, was not properly and fully thought through. It should be re-visited.”
The coroner also asked the council to consider placing signs warning the public about the dangers of yew trees around the park, adding: “There is a risk of a death arising in similar circumstances, and informing the public will clearly reduce the risk of those deaths.
“Perhaps particularly so for a child whose carer would be so informed.”