It’s time to head back to school. While this is an exciting time for returning students to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and embark on new experiences, students with asthma and fall allergies often struggle to keep symptoms under control. Here are a few tips for student’s of all ages to stay healthy:
Visit your child’s allergist: Before returning to school, make an appointment with your child’s doctor to for a health check-up. This is a great opportunity to discuss any new issues, as well as to develop a plan to keep your child healthy throughout the year.
Meet with teachers and school health professionals: Teachers are often a first line of defense for helping control allergy and asthma symptoms away from home. Discussing your child’s symptoms will help teachers respond quickly and appropriately in critical situations. Teachers and school health professionals should also have copies or access to information about your child’s wellness plan, including medications like inhalers and epinephrine kits.
Don’t forget physical education: Although many asthma-sufferers experience symptoms during exercise, physical activities and extra-curricular sports don’t have to be off-limits simply because your child has asthma. Instead, work with coaches to ensure that they recognize your child’s needs.
Tour your child’s classroom: Visiting the school during an open house event is the perfect opportunity to look at the school’s buildings and identify potential problem areas. For example, if your child’s allergies are irritated by pet dander, it’s probably a good idea that he or she sits on the opposite side of the room from the class pet.
Get a flu shot: Flu and asthma both affect the respiratory system, which makes protecting your child against the influenza virus even more important. Receiving a flu vaccination provides another layer of protection for your child, ensuring that he or she doesn’t encounter any complications.
Talk to your child: It’s so important—no matter how young your child may be—that he or she is well-educated about his or her allergy and asthma symptoms. This prepares your child to alert teachers or other school officials if he or she experiences any hives, shortness of breath, or other flare-ups.
Take action: Your child spends a significant amount of time at school. Work with school administration, other parents, and community organizers to create a healthier indoor environment that everyone can enjoy.
What are your tips for helping your child keep allergy and asthma symptoms under control when they are at school? Tell us about them in the comments.