For kids with asthma, school can be tough to navigate. Asthma flare-ups can happen any time and any place. For asthmatics, one of the scariest things is having a flare-up when you aren’t prepared or expecting it. The best thing asthmatic kids – and their parents – can do is focus on controlling symptoms and triggers, especially at school. Here are a few ways to control asthma at school.
Understand The Triggers
Everyone’s asthma triggers are different and it’s important that you understand your asthma and its triggers. One way to prevent an asthma flare-up is to look out for triggers before they cause concern. Parents should encourage their kids to keep a journal of things that affect their asthma; some kids prefer to send texts to their parents so their parents can keep that record for them. Parents and older students can share their information with their doctors, teachers, and administrators to make sure triggers are kept at bay to reduce attacks in the future.
Have a Plan
Early morning mile runs, chalk dust, and stuffy classrooms. It may be hard to avoid some of these triggers, but if you have a plan in place, you may be able to control the outcomes. With asthma, the goal is preventive care. Have inhalers at the ready, and ask your school nurse if the school has a nebulizer. Be honest in dealings with teachers and coaches. Many a child with asthma has received full athletic scholarships, so parents are not doing their kids any favors by withholding vital health information from their schools or coaches. Your health comes first!
Take Medication as Prescribed
While it is possible that kids can keep rescue inhalers on them, many school systems do not allow prescription medication to be carried around by students. Some asthma medications require refrigeration. This may mean ducking out of class at a certain time to take the medication. If this the case with your child, work out logistics with administration and staff. If there is prolonged testing that day or a field trip, let the staff know ahead of time. For parents and older kids, communication is key and the results of breathing easy are worth it.
Keep Prescriptions Filled and Up to Date
Be sure to keep up-to-date mediation available and properly stored in the nurse’s office. Keep reminders of when the prescription may expire, or when it needs a refill. Well ahead of time, have the proper permissions and releases in place for each medication, and renew them as doses or instructions change.