Leader: ‘Tragedy will increase awareness’

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It is easy for those who are lucky enough not to be affected by severe asthma to think of the condition as being a relatively minor one.

We all know what an asthma inhaler looks like and it can be tempting to think of that simple bit of kit as a cure all.

The reality, though, is that the condition can be very frightening for those who have to live with it and those who care for them. And it can be fatal far more often than you might think. Asthma kills three people every day in the UK, including 12 children aged 14 or younger every year.

The latest research suggests that one of the biggest barriers to the better management of the condition for many patients – aside from the high cost of preventative medication for patients south of the Border – is the stigma that is still attached to it.

Sadly, many young sufferers still feel that their inhaler is “something to hide in their bag”.

That kind of thinking can only change with time, and growing openness and increasing awareness.

There is no suggestion that anything could have been done differently that would have saved 15-year-old Portobello High pupil Kelsey Hogg.

But her death following a suspected asthma attack has brought home the risks of the condition to us all.

There is nothing that will console her family and many friends right now. We can only hope that out of this tragedy there might come some greater understanding of a potentially dangerous condition that one in 11 of our children live with.

Learn lessons

IT IS reassuring that the council has acted quickly to address the latest bus lane camera 
blunder.

Almost £11,000 is to be paid back in wrongly issued fines after motorists diverted into a lane by roadworks were still flashed. The news will be a relief to the 362 who paid up and the many more preparing for a bureaucratic fight to challenge the penalty.

Everyone accepts mistakes happen and we welcome the swift action to correct the error. Hopefully a lesson has also been learned for the future.

It may seem like the cameras are jinxed, especially after the high-profile problems with their introduction, but let’s hope the problems are now over and the cameras are 
deployed solely to catch the cheats, not the innocent motorist.

Edinburgh’s roads are difficult enough to navigate at times without finding you have been fined for 
simply obeying a sign.