Avoid back-to-school asthma attacks
Professor Yuben Moodley, from the Institute for Respiratory Health, shares some of the reasons why asthma symptoms might be triggered by returning to school at this time of year and what you can do to help your child.
Kids in Western Australia are heading back to school today and Australian studies have shown up to 25 per cent of children’s hospital admissions happen in February, coinciding with the first few weeks of the school term.
“There’s several reasons why a child’s asthma can be triggered,” Professor Moodley said. “Kids can come down with colds when they go back to school – this is one of the biggest triggers.
“Stress, the excitement of being back at school and dust in unused classrooms can also be triggers.”
Professor Moodley says there are things parents can do to help manage their child’s asthma when going back to school.
“Make sure your child is taking their preventer medicine every day, as prescribed and that they feel comfortable asking for help or telling school staff/carers when they have asthma symptoms.
“Also provide a copy of your child’s up-to-date Asthma Action Plan to teachers and the school and an in-date reliever medication and spacer in your kid’s school bag clearly labelled with your child’s name, date of birth and expiry date.
“Asthma shouldn’t hold your kids back from doing what they love – attending school, playing sports, but it does need a bit of time investment to keep it under control and reduce the chances of flare-ups.”
If you notice your child’s asthma symptoms are getting worse make an appointmen with your doctor. Indications include:
- coughing, wheezing, or saying their chest hurts
- baking their reliever inhaler three or more times a week
- waking up at night because of their symptoms.