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Back to School Advice for Students with Asthma
Children's asthma exacerbations peak as the school term begins. This is thought to be due to many reasons, such as exposure to new allergens and triggers including:
- Colds and viruses
- Children's excitement or stress triggering symptoms.
- Children having to manage their own medication for the first time or having to rely on a teacher rather than a parent to take charge of inhalers
Over 1 in 5 children in Ireland have asthma. They lose an average of 20 days from school each year because of their asthma symptoms.
There are some simple steps that parents and children with asthma can study.
It is important to have your child's asthma reviewed by your doctor prior to school commencement as during the winter months colds and flu cause a wintertime threat to children with asthma. A written personal action plan maybe offered by your GP. The plan includes information parents need in order to keep control of their child's asthma including;
- How their child can achieve better asthma control.
- Details on their child's asthma medication and the importance of taking their medication on a daily basis.
- How to tell when their child's asthma symptoms are getting worse and what they should do about it.
- What to do if their child has an attack.
For parents of a child with asthma it is important to visit your child's school and make sure your child's teacher is aware of the following information;
- That your child has asthma
- To be aware of their triggers
- To be aware of what to do if your child has asthma symptoms.
- Check if there is an Asthma School Policy or what measures are in place if a child with asthma joins the school.
Use an Asthma Society of Ireland school card to record essential details that the school needs to know about your child's health and treatment.
It is imperative that your child carries their blue reliever at all times and that a blue reliever is left in school and labeled clearly with the child's name.
Keep your child at home if he/she is not well enough to attend.
The Asthma Society of Ireland has guidelines for teachers on how to deal with asthma which can be obtained by contacting the society.