The allergy and asthma specialist at Pediatric Partners wants to help manage your child’s asthma at school. Asthma flare-ups are one of the top reasons children miss school. By working with the school and your baby’s doctor or pediatrician, you can help manage the condition, making life easier for your child and the teachers.
1. Get a flu shot
Colds and the flu can spread quickly in schools, and both of these can worsen asthma symptoms, so getting a flu shot is one of the first lines of defense. Asthma and the flu are respiratory diseases, so children with the flu can have more often and more severe asthma attacks if they get the flu.
2. Meet with school officials, teachers and nurses
It is important that your child’s teachers and school administrators know what to do to help your child manage his/her asthma. This can include managing asthma triggers in the classroom, what to do in case of an emergency and how to handle physical education classes. Some areas of importance in the classroom may be the presence of a furry class pet and keeping the room clean and dust- and mold-free. Your child’s teacher and other school officials should be aware of what asthma is, what triggers asthma attacks, how to control it and what conditions may be hazardous to your child’s health
It is also a good idea to talk to anyone in charge of after-school programs that your child might be attending. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program has issued a guide to managing asthma in schools which includes sample Asthma Action Plans available to use as well, which you can find by clicking here.
3. Set up a plan for medication
Depending on school policy and your child’s age, he/she may be able to self-medicate. You may have to set up a schedule for daytime medication with your child’s school. You will want to have your child’s medication – including anything to be used in an emergency – available at the school. You also need to set up a way to access the medication in the case of off-site and after-school events, such as field trips and practices.
4. Discuss plans with your child
It’s just as important to speak to your child about plans as it is to speak to other adults. This way, your child knows what to do and can play an active role in managing his/her own asthma. One thing to discuss is avoiding potential triggers and common allergens, like sitting too close to a chalkboard.