Forty percent of parents have never heard of an Asthma Action Plan, the recommended asthma management and communication tool for parents, physicians and schools, according to a recent national American Lung Association poll. Evidence shows that child asthma emergency room visits and hospitalization rates spike during back-to-school season, but parents are not taking basic steps to manage their child’s asthma while at school.
Asthma exacerbations tend to be seasonal, and the back-to-school months herald the cold and virus season, when children return to close classroom quarters after having spent the summer apart from one another. Viruses and allergens are leading asthma triggers, both of which peak in the fall. When coupled with indoor air pollutants found in schools, a potentially dangerous environment is created for children with asthma. The ALACNY recommends that every parent of a child with asthma take the following steps to help better asthma management in school:
- Talk to the school nurse and teachers about your child’s asthma and submit an Asthma Action Plan to the school.
- Submit a Medicine Administration Form to your child’s school granting permission to carry his/her inhaler in school.
- Enroll your child in Open Airways For Schools—the gold standard asthma education program available to every elementary school in NYC for children ages eight to thirteen.
- Schedule a flu shot to prevent your child from suffering respiratory complications from the influenza virus.
Related Story: Managing Your Child’s Asthma