Evidence-based Shared Decisions


6 Tips for Going Back to School with Asthma

Posted by Genevieve (Genna) Vullo on Sep 6, 2016 11:55:20 AM

The end of summer means going back to school - gathering school supplies, planning after-school activities, and going back to school shopping. It’s a busy time! 

As a parent of a child with asthma, there are a few extra things you need to do.  physical education.jpgTake the below steps to make certain that your child is set for success and safety in this new academic year.

  1. Make sure the school knows what to do if your child has trouble breathing
    • Even if your child went to the same school last year, you need to check with the school to be sure they know what to do to help your child.
    • Make sure the school and after-school activities have copies of your child’s asthma action or asthma treatment plan.
    • It is also important that these adults know WHERE to find your child’s rescue medicine, or rescue inhaler. Some schools let children carry the rescue medicine in their backpack. Other schools make the school nurse in charge of the medicine. Ask your school about this.
    • This will help teachers, the nurse, and other adults know what to do if your child is having trouble breathing.
  2. Make sure your child knows what to do if he has trouble breathing
    • It is very important that your child also knows what to do when he has trouble breathing. Sometimes adults do not notice that a child cannot breathe well. Your child should know to say something to an adult.
    • Check the school’s rules about if your child can keep his rescue medicine with him. Some schools make the school nurse in charge of the rescue medicine.  Your child may need signed permission from the doctor to use the inhaler by himself.
    • No matter where the rescue medicine is kept– your child should know what to do if he’s having trouble breathing.
  3. Make sure the school knows if your child has asthma trouble when exercising
    • If your child has trouble with asthma when he exercises, make certain that the gym teacher or coach also has the asthma action plan.
    • Also, if your child is supposed to take an inhaler before exercising, make sure the nurse or gym teacher can help him do that.
  4. Update your asthma medication routine
    • Starting school again means a different morning and nighttime routine. Make sure that you still remember to give your child his controller asthma medicines. These are the medicines he is supposed to take every day for asthma.
    • Consider putting the asthma medicines on the kitchen table, so you remember to give your child his medicine at breakfast and after dinner.
    • You might also want to add reminders or alarms on your smartphone, to help you remember to give the medicines.
    • These medicines are essential to keeping your child’s asthma under control.
  5. Keep an eye out for allergies
    • With the change in the season, asthma sometimes gets worse. There can be more pollen and mold, for example. If your child is having a hard time with his asthma, talk to his doctor.
  6. Get the flu shot!
    • Getting a flu shot can protect your child with asthma from their increased risk of getting pneumonia from the flu. Flu mist is no longer considered adequate for children. Check with your doctor to see when the flu shots is available.

CHADIS offers tools to help doctors and parents take care of kids with asthma. We are currently conducting an asthma project. For more information, contact gvullo@chadis.com

CHADIS is a unique screening, decision support and patient engagement system designed to streamline and optimize healthcare by providing Clinicians with evidence-based data that improves diagnosis and management of health, emotional, developmental and behavioral concerns. Ask your physician for any of the many resources CHADIS has on managing asthma.


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Posted by Genevieve (Genna) Vullo

Ms. Vullo received a Master of Health Science at The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the Department of Mental Health. She was previously a scientific program analyst and resource and communication director for a study led by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. She is the project manager of the CHADIS National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-funded asthma care quality improvement project and the Family Stress Patient Specific Template.

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Topics: Asthma, kids, School

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