As a parent, preparing to send your student back to school takes a lot of preparation. If your child has asthma, it can take even more steps to be sure your child will be safe at school. Children spend an average of seven hours per day at school, and asthma is the leading cause of illness-related absences in children under 18. This makes it extremely important to identify, reduce, and prepare for asthma triggers and attacks in the school environment.
Luckily, taking a few steps during the summer can pave the way to a safe, productive school year for students with asthma. Here are our top five tips for preparing children with asthma for school.
Communicate With Your Child’s School.
Your first step should be communicating with your child’s school about their condition. All school officials involved in your child’s care should know how to recognize their symptoms, which medications they take and when, and what to do in case of an emergency. This may include their teachers, physical education instructors, the school nurse, guidance counselors, principles, and any other regular care providers.
You should familiarize yourself with the school’s policies and procedures on asthma and asthma medications. Most schools will require that you do the following.
Create an Asthma Action Plan.
Every child with asthma should have a written care plan in place. This is a written plan of instructions and information on medications your child takes, how to recognize their asthma symptoms, and what to do in case of an emergency. Most schools require an asthma action plan to be prepared by a licensed physician. If your school doesn’t provide pre-made plans, you can find a template online that can be filled out by your doctor when you…
Schedule a Summer Check-Up.
During your visit, you should discuss the severity of your child’s condition and assess the risk of attending in-person classes. If your doctor approves your student for school, get refills on their medications and ask for an extra inhaler that can be kept at school. You should also ask about key vaccines that can help reduce common asthma flare-ups, like the flu shot or the Covid-19 vaccine.
You should schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor well before the school year starts. This will give them enough time to prepare any paperwork the school needs to create your asthma action plan. Another good tip is to ask your doctor or healthcare staff to help…
Teach your student to self-administer medication.
Age-appropriate skills can help your child better manage their condition while they’re at school. This may include recognizing the symptoms of an attack, knowing when to ask an adult for help, or using a self-administered inhaler.
Control Their Condition.
Of course, a key step to keeping your student safe in school is to keep their asthma well-controlled. Be sure to stay on top of daily treatment, avoid asthma-inducing triggers, and treat underlying conditions like allergies to give them their best chance of success.