Back to School Guide for Allergic and Asthmatic Students
August 2, 2016
Back to school season is an exciting time for students and parents alike! But if your child suffers from asthma or allergies, or both, the first days of a new school year can also be a time of anxiety. More than 10 million kids under the age of 18 have asthma, and 11 percent suffer from respiratory allergies. Additionally, about 6 percent have also been diagnosed with food allergies as well, leaving tricky situations for students, parents, and school administrators to monitor.
Before the First Day
Start preparing before the new school year begins so you can feel confident sending your child off to class. Make sure your child is in a good routine to take their asthma or allergy medications as prescribed. Skipping doses can lead to increased symptoms and suffering, and less time learning.
Depending on the severity of your child’s condition, you may want to tour the school to identify potential triggers and talk with your child’s teacher and other school personnel about your child’s needs and treatment plan. If your child is at risk for life-threatening reactions, such as those to food or insect stings, complete an Anaphylaxis Action Plan and determine which school administrators and/or school healthcare providers can administer auto-injectable epinephrine.
In the Classroom
There are many potential allergy and asthma triggers in schools, so it is very important that your child’s allergies have been accurately diagnosed by a board-certified allergist to determine what allergens to avoid and where they may be hiding. If your child has not been tested, make an appointment with BreatheAmerica today to get tested before the school year is underway!
Many common asthma and allergy triggers found in schools include dust mites, mold, chalk dust, and animal dander. Additionally, lunch time can be difficult for young students with food allergies, so educating the child and the school is necessary to ensure a safe meal time each day.
Playtime and After-School Sports
Recess is a fond memory for many of us, and may be the favorite time of the school day for your children. However, for those with allergies or asthma, it can be a minefield of potential triggers. For children with allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, pollen levels are very high at the beginning of the school year, so plan accordingly if your child takes medication to control their symptoms.
Additionally, children with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, a form of asthma brought on by physical activity, should work with the school staff to keep them safe while exercising and playing. Ideas include using a short-acting inhaler prior to exercise or other strenuous physical activity, drinking plenty of water, and choosing sports and activities that are less likely to trigger symptoms.
Every child wants to feel their best whether at home and or at school. You can help your kids this fall by being prepared and visiting BreatheAmerica for diagnosis, customized treatment plans, and unwavering support to ensure that you, your child and their school are educated and equipped to face whatever obstacles may lie ahead in the coming year. For more information, contact a center near you today!