A parent with a child who has asthma understands how much communication there must be between you, your child, and their school. If your child is old enough, they should know how to use his or her inhaler, when to use it, and when to ask for help. Younger children need a bit more intervention, and your task becomes more complicated. Let’s discuss how your child can handle asthma flare-ups at school.
Start With Your Child
Talk with your child at length about asthma. Explain as thoroughly as possible everything about this chronic condition for their age level. Be sure they understand about keeping track of when to take their medicine and how to use the inhaler.
Ideally, they should know how to handle their condition and whom to turn to for help at school
Communicating with key people at school is not a “one and done” situation. There may be new teachers, a new principal, a new school nurse. All these people need to know how to deal with your child during a flare up.
Let them all know about the severity of your child’s condition, their triggers, which medications they need, and how to give them. They should clearly understand what to do in case of an asthma attack.
Develop An Action Plan
Make an action plan that spells out the steps for managing asthma. Make a copy for every school official who might interact with your child. Don’t forget the bus driver(s) and the PE teacher.
If needed, like for beginning a new school, or with major staff changes, schedule a joint meeting with everyone. Direct how to use the inhaler correctly, location of the inhaler, and what might be signs of breathing difficulties.
Check to see that the school nurse has all the medications your child could need during school time.
Be sure everyone knows when to call your pediatrician or call 911 along with important phone numbers.
- Is your child mature enough to carry their inhaler with them?
- Does the school district allow children to have medicine on their person?
- Are there triggers at your child’s school? Work with the administrator to remove things like dust, allergens, etc.
- Does your child recognize when they are having breathing issues?
- If your child is too young to handle their medications, who will be the main caregiver?
Solid communication between the school, your doctor, you, and your child can all aid in supporting your child while they are at school and away from you.