Summer is coming to a close for students in North Carolina. The change of seasons and environment can spell trouble for asthma and allergy sufferers. They already know their at-home triggers and how to combat them, but have less control over their environment at school. Common classroom triggers include pollen, dust mites, mold, chalk dust, and pet dander. With the help of school administrators and parents, students can remain focused on their studies and less on their allergies.
Allergy and Asthma Preventative Measures for Back to School
- Keep windows closed when pollen counts are high
- Repair leaking water pipes and faucets
- Install high efficiency air filters
- If the classroom has a pet, position asthmatic and allergic students far away from it. In addition to the dander produced by the class pet, it is possible that a fellow student might also transport pet dander into the classroom from home.
- Address any concerns that aren’t resolved by your administrators with county school officials, if necessary
Prepare for a Successful and Allergy-Free School Year
- Make an appointment with an allergist
- Make an appointment with your child’s teacher and/or school administrator and, if possible, perform a walk-through of the classroom to pinpoint potential triggers (this could be done at meet-the-teacher night, as well)
- Share your child’s treatment plan with school staff and bus drivers
- Discuss what to do in an emergency
- Provide the school nurse with any medications the student needs, as well as the dosage and instructions
- Also, have your child’s doctor complete your school district’s Medication Authorization form
Don’t Forget About Recess and Sports Activities in Your Planning
- Use a short-acting inhaler 15 minutes before any activity, under your healthcare provider’s recommendations
- Stay hydrated
- Choose activities that are less intense
- If it’s cold out, bundle up
- Protect your eyes and lungs with a mask or bandanna
Going back to school is an exciting time and can be made less stressful for asthma and allergy sufferers by taking this advice into careful consideration.