Back to School Tips for Kids With Asthma

The back to school period is already stressful enough for most parents, but if your son or daughter has asthma this period can be extra nerve-racking. Did you know that the first weeks of the school term often see a spike in asthma attacks? The change of environment, allergens, back to school stress, and cold bugs from fellow classmates all impact your child’s chances of having an asthma attack. At Wasatch Peak Family Practice we want to make sure you're fully prepared for the back to school period with these five tips:  

1. Start a routine during summer break

You might be a bit looser about your child's asthma routine over summer break, but make sure you and your child get back into the routine well before school starts. This is also a great time to check all medications to make sure they haven’t expired and to prepare the asthma care package for when your son or daughter is at school. It’s advisable to have one care package in your kid's backpack and leave an extra one at school, just in case.

2. Set up an asthma action plan

It’s really important to have an asthma action plan in place. This is a detailed plan that includes your kid´s medications, their typical asthma symptoms and any action that should be taken if they have an attack. It’s also good to mention in the plan if your child has any limitations with respect to physical activity so that this can be taken into account for gym class. Also, involve a specialist doctor in making the asthma action plan to make sure it's complete and comprehensive.

3. Review inhaling technique

During your visit to Wasatch Peak Family Practice to review your asthma action plan, do a little checkup to ensure your child is inhaling correctly. Although they might be confident with the inhaler, it’s especially important that they’re using the inhaler in the most effective way during the back to school period when attacks are more frequent. Always check with your doctor or a nurse to make sure the inhaler is being used correctly.

4. Talk to the school

Make sure that you speak to the school and, if possible, to the school nurse, before the school year kicks off. Share the asthma action plan and leave copies with any relevant personnel. Even if they’re familiar with your child’s asthma problems from previous years, it certainly doesn’t hurt to do a little reminder and go over the asthma action plan with them. Explain to the school personnel as well about possible asthma triggers and check to see if they know how to respond to asthma signals. Also, speak to your child and make sure they’re comfortable about asking for help or telling their teacher when they feel they’re experiencing asthma problems.

5. Be ready with preventive treatment

If your child has preventive medicines prescribed, make sure that these are readily available when school starts up again. Also, talk to your child about taking preventive steps at school right before gym class or any other physical activity and about always having their inhaler ready. This is especially important when the weather starts to turn colder.

At Wasatch Peak Family Practice, we have extensive experience treating asthma symptoms and we can help you find ways to manage and prevent attacks. Don´t wait for a back to school asthma attack.

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