It’s that time of year again. A fun summer has come and gone and it’s time to start thinking about back to school. While stocking up on school supplies, don’t forget to prepare your child’s asthma plan for the new school year.
The American Lung Association has published a “Back to School with Asthma Checklist” for a smooth adjustment back to school for children with asthma. With careful preparation, your child can focus on enjoying their school days without worrying about their asthma.
Here are some tips for making this school year a good one:
1. Schedule a checkup before school starts
Summer is the perfect time to fit in a doctor’s appointment, since your child’s schedule may be less busy. Be sure to bring any forms required by your child’s school so that you can be prepared for meeting with the school nurse (See Tip #2 below).
Discuss how your child’s asthma treatment plan has been working in the past year. In particular, make sure your child knows how to use their inhaler and spacer properly.
Review your child’s asthma triggers, and make a plan to help your child avoid exposure at school. A summer checkup is a great time to discuss any troubles with allergies, which are common in children with asthma.
2. Get the school nurse on board
If your child is starting a new school, or has a recent asthma diagnosis, make sure that the school nurse is part of your child’s asthma team. First, make sure all necessary forms documenting your children’s medication are submitted timely so they can be processed before school starts.
With the help of your child’s doctor, write an Asthma Action Plan and share it with the school nurse. If your child’s school does not have a full time nurse, include the receptionist or other staff members in the Asthma Action Plan as well.
3. Don’t forget after school activities
If your child participates in an after-school activity, make sure your child’s coach or activity leader has access to your child’s Asthma Action Plan. It’s very important that those supervising your child know what an asthma emergency looks like and how best to help your child.
Make back to school easy with these tips
After a fun summer, transitioning back to school can be hard for many kids. If your child has asthma, keeping these tips in mind can make it easier.