Dealing with Asthma Flare-Ups at School

Asthma can be a challenging reality to deal with while growing up. There are times it can interfere with planned activities like sports. There are things an asthmatic child and the people around them must watch out for in order to know whether the child could be endangering themselves by something they are doing.

This is something I worry about as I send my kindergartner to school. His asthma can be both predictable and unpredictable at the same time. There were times I could see it coming on and other times that I was blindsided by it. And to put all that on the shoulders of a 5 year old at school scares me. 

When a child has asthma, it is important to have a plan in place as to how to stay on guard, and what to do should an asthma attack occur at school.

Dealing with Asthma Flare-Ups at School

Have a Plan in Place. Asthma can flare up at the most inconvenient of times. Make a plan that your child can be familiar with so that they will be prepared for the possibility for asthma to strike when they are at school. Tell your child who to contact if they are feeling unwell, and give them instructions on what procedures to follow.

Alert All Adults in Contact with Your Child. Alert the adults who are around your child on a regular basis to the fact that your child has asthma. Contact everyone you can think of, such as teachers, teacher assistants, coaches, librarians, and the principal. Give them clues as to what signs to keep their eyes open for that could warn of an asthma flare-up, and educate them on what they should do if one arises. The more adults who know of your child’s situation, the more likely your child is to receive quick help.

Be Easily Contacted. Be available as much as possible. Keep your cell phone within reach. If you have a meeting, or anything else that requires you to be away from the phone, check your messages as soon as you are available. If you are easy to reach, you will be able to be contacted immediately upon your child’s potential asthma flare-up.

Walk Through Possibilities with Your Child. Educate your child about his (or her) asthma. Tell him what situations to avoid, and what to do if he begins to feel as though he may be experiencing a flare-up. Give him instructions on who he should notify. For example, make sure he understands that he should always alert the adult in charge rather than just a friend.

Sometimes things do not go as planned. Help him with specific words that he can use to alert the adult that he is experiencing an asthma flare-up, and what to do if the adult does not seem to understand or act quickly upon it.

Minimize Risks When Possible. The best way to deal with asthma, when possible, is to prevent flare-ups. Educate your child’s teachers and the school staff as to what triggers seem to bother your child the most. See if there are ways that these triggers can be minimized or even removed from his environment. If something is acting as a trigger to your child, it may be bothering other asthmatic children as well. Your willingness to get involved may improve the lives of many.

Children with asthma should be free to live their lives as fully as all children do. With a little education and some creativity, you can prepare your child and those around them to deal with an asthma flare-up when it occurs. Give out the information necessary to deal with an asthma flare-up, and there will be nothing stopping him from pursuing his interests and dreams.

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