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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How to manage your child's asthma at school

The following was published 1/11/13 on

24 tips to manage your child's asthma at school

So you have a child with asthma and want to make sure he or she gets the best care possible once school starts.  As a former child asthmatic who endured asthma attacks in school, I have compiled the following tips just for you. 
  1. Work with your child's asthma doctor to obtain the best asthma control possible
  2. Meet your child's teacher before school starts. 
  3. Make sure your child's teacher understands asthma and how to recognize the symptoms.  
  4. Work with your child's teacher to create a school asthma action planso she knows exactly what to do in case your child shows asthma symptoms
  5. Buy at least two new rescue inhalers before each school year.  Your child should carry one (if allowed) and the teacher should have one.
  6. The inhaler should be in such a place that the child can access it in less than five minutes.  A child shouldn't have to wait in line to get access to a life saving medicine
  7. In an age appropriate way, educate the child about asthma
  8. Make sure your child knows that it's okay to ask for help anytime.  
  9. Make sure your child's teacher knows of any allergies or asthma triggers, and discuss methods of avoiding them
  10. Remind your child often when to ask for help and that it's okay to ask for help
  11. Encourage teachers to reinforce to your child often it's okay to ask for help any time.
  12. Provide the school staff with a peak flow meter to use as a guide to help them make decisions when to use the rescue inhaler, when to call you, and when to call 911.
  13. Talk to the gym teacher so he knows your child's limitations.  
  14. The gym teacher should also know your child's asthma action plan
  15. Your child should be encouraged to participate in gym activities on mostdays.  Exercise is good for asthmatics.  Be aware of Actor Asthmatics
  16. However, the gym teacher should be aware of any pre-treatment your child needs before exercise
  17. You're doctor should know about exercise induced asthma
  18. And obviously he must know when it's not a good idea for the child to participate
  19. Make sure the teacher monitors your child for bullying, as wheezing, sniffling and sneezing can result in good material for bullies (If you don't believe me, just watch iCarly).  
  20. If your child is unable to participate in certain activities, such as gym class or field trips or other outdoor activities (perhaps due to weather), make sure to have a plan for appropriately entertaining your child.  For example, one of my friends was allowed to stay in from recess with me and we were given free reign in the library with the librarian to read or play games.  
  21. Know when it's best to keep your child home from school
  22. Meet with the teacher often to reinforce your child's school asthma action plan
  23. Make yourself asthma smart by reading as much as you can about asthma.  
  24. Make yourself asthma smart.  The more you know about asthma, the more you can help your child both at home and at school.  You can do this easy just by hanging with us.
Related posts, further readings, and references:
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