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Another New School Year

Ashley Gudgel, Executive DirectorBreatheAmerica Albuquerque I say this every year, “How did summer pass so quickly?”, even though school starting has no effect on my schedule.  My children have long since finished school and moved to their own homes, yet I still view my personal calendar based on the school year.  For me it means a few minutes longer drive in the morning because of school traffic, and watching out for children walking to the school bus.  Not a lot of impact on my life.

Not so for those of you with school age children with allergies and asthma.  The start of school might cause a little more uneasiness, worrying about asthma attacks, allergies, or allergic reactions your child might have at school.  Not knowing if the teacher is prepared for a medical problem, or if the school has a nurse available for emergencies during the school day can cause significant apprehension before school starts.

It’s important if your child has allergies or asthma that your school is notified properly.  Parents may need to make an appointment for their child to visit an allergist to obtain any needed medication refills and proper dosing instructions, and/or get their child’s Asthma Action Plan updated for the school nurse.  If your child suffers from food allergies it is important to alert teachers and the school nurse as to the specifics of what your child is allergic to, and how they may react to exposure.  You may want to consider an alert bracelet which can be very helpful in an emergency situation in or out of school.

Remember some help may be on the way by next year with the implementation of the Emergency Medication in Schools Act. The Act will allow schools to maintain stock medications, albuterol for respiratory distress and epinephrine for anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) for trained staff to administer in an emergency.  You will need to check with your school after the first of the year to find out if they are implementing the Act, as participation is voluntary, not mandatory.

We at BreatheAmerica would like to wish all our kids, parents and teachers a safe and happy learning experience in this new school year.  Let’s sum it up as a year that you can breathe easy.