Any parent who has helped their child through an asthma attack knows what a scary experience it can be and that parent will naturally be concerned about their child having an attack in school. So what can parents do to manage their child’s asthma in school?
Speak to the school staff
For younger children, parents need to speak to the school officials about their child’s condition. The class teacher, theschool nurse, other teachers, specially the physical education teacher, the principal and the office staff should be made aware of the situation. The school bus driver also needs to be told. In fact the more people associated with the school who know about your child’s condition the better.
The class teacher needs to know so that he or she can react appropriately in case of an attack. Also the teacher will understand better if the child is not performing to potential. You could discuss your child being moved to another teacher’s class if that teacher has asthma management training or experience. Speak to the teacher about medications and emergency procedures if any that need following.
Since asthma is often exercise induced, the PE teacher should also be informed and told what is safe for your child. The school counselor may also be able to help, particularly if your child is having trouble keeping up with their class because of their asthma or consequent absenteeism.
Speak to your child
An older child who is better able to understand his or her own condition will be able to understand the importance of taking medications regularly, the right way to use an inhaler and even perhaps the peak flow meter. If your doctor so advises, your child should carry an EpiPen or similar device with them as an emergency solution.
Create an action plan
It is important to create an action plan based on the type of asthma your child has, the severity and the frequency of asthma attacks experienced. Also familiarize yourself with the triggers that seem to set off attacks and don’t ignore emotional or psychological triggers.
Then write down an action plan about everyday precautions as well as regular dos and don’ts. List down medications, their dosages and their timings; if there are emergency medications, list those and the circumstances in which they are to be used. Set out clearly how to react in case of an attack or an emergency.