Getting asthma-ready for school

It’s that time of year where children get a fresh haircut, dust off their uniforms and get set to lose most of their stationery before the end of the first month of school. It can be a mix of emotions for both parents and child as they meet new teachers, make new friends and adapt to a new routine.

For children with asthma or other respiratory conditions, the challenge of returning to school can have a greater impact; one that we hope to reduce.

We’re talking about hospital visits. There is a notable increase in hospital visitations due to asthma during the first few months of a new school year, with 20-25% of asthma related admissions for children taking place in February!

The reasons for this are varied, and something to be aware of:

  • irregular use of prescribed medications over the summer holidays due to a lack of routine
  • stress of returning to school and new experiences
  • allergic triggers such as mould and dust
  • being in close proximity to class peers who may bring in new cold and flu bugs.

To help your child be as prepared as possible for returning to school, here are some useful tips:

  • consider what may trigger a flare up and take the necessary steps to reduce their impact
  • observe if your child is using their blue reliever more often and take them to the GP if there is a noticeable increase in usage
  • encourage your child to use their preventer medication as prescribed and check they know how to correctly administer their medication themselves or with help
  • book an appointment with your GP for an asthma check-up prior to returning to school
  • share a copy of your child’s Asthma Action Plan with school staff and carers including any before/after school care program they may attend
  • ask your child to communicate with school staff if their asthma is flaring up (explain why it is important they speak up and not be shy)
  • ensure your child has their reliever handy, particularly if they have exercise-induced asthma
  • remind your child of their asthma triggers and why it is important to manage   them
  • get the flu shot every year including your child, yourself and other family members

Have you got your Asthma Emergency Guide? It’s a quick reference that aims to show the different signs of an asthma flare-up and the crucial steps when an asthma attack begins. Get your FREE Asthma Emergency Guide today – you can even order one for your school.

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