Prepare to Go Back to School with Allergies & Asthma

It’s back-to-school time already! Getting your child ready to start school is always easier when you have a plan, especially if your child has allergies and asthma. The American Lung Association’s Back-to-School with Asthma Checklist offers easy-to-follow steps to help you child start the school year healthy and eager to learn.

Step 1: Talk to the School Nurse

The school nurse is a valuable resource in managing your child’s asthma. Plan a visit or make a phone call to the school nurse at the beginning of the school year. Together, you, the school nurse and your child's healthcare provider can work to reduce asthma triggers and manage asthma symptoms while in school.

Ask the school nurse to explain and provide all of the required forms you and your child’s healthcare provider need to sign and complete.

Discuss your child’s allergy and asthma triggers and steps to reduce them in the classroom.
Ask about the school’s asthma emergency plan, and if coaches, teachers and staff are trained in how to recognize asthma symptoms and respond to a breathing emergency.

Step 2: Schedule Asthma Check-up

Each school year should begin with a visit to your child’s healthcare provider for an allergy and asthma check-up.

This check-up is the best time to make sure your child is on the right amount of medicine for their asthma, to fill out any forms required by the school and to create an asthma management plan. It’s important that your child has an updated asthma action plan on file at school and one at home. Your child, if appropriate, as well as any providers, should be trained and comfortable with the use of medications and devices. If your child uses a spacer or valved-holding chamber or a peak flow meter, ask your healthcare provider for a prescription for two; one of which can be kept at home and the other one at school. A peak flow meter at school will help the school nurse assess your child’s asthma symptoms. It’s important for all kids to stay active, especially those with asthma. Discuss the types of physical activity and sports your child wants to participate in and the steps to take to help avoid symptoms during this activity.

Step 3: Develop an Asthma Action Plan

An asthma action plan is a written worksheet created by your healthcare provider and tailored to your child’s needs. The plan includes a list of their allergy and asthma triggers and symptoms, the names of their medicines and how much medicine to take when needed. The plan also explains the steps to take to manage an asthma episode and a breathing emergency. An asthma action plan should always be on file in the school nurse’s office and easily accessible to anyone who may need to help your child use their inhaler. This includes teachers, coaches, and after-school care programs. Keep a copy for yourself to help you manage your child’s asthma symptoms when he’s at home.

Please call to schedule your child’s asthma check-up appointment today. We are happy to complete any required school forms and help you develop your Asthma Action Plan.
Download September 2014 Newsletter