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Back to school asthma 

Is your child asthma-ready for school?

IMG_1569Every year there is a well-documented rise in asthma flare-ups when children return to school after the school holidays. This results in a significant increase in Emergency Department visits, hospitalisations and days off school. Not only is this unsettling for your child as they start a new year at school, but often it impacts on time off work for the parents/carers also.

Why do asthma flare-ups happen at this time?

This pattern is consistent with international studies after the long summer school holiday break in other countries too. Our asthma experts tell us that major factors include,

  • When children’s asthma is well controlled in summer, sometimes preventer medicines are not taken daily as prescribed
  • Children mix with others and there is an inevitable spreading of viruses

What do parents and carers of children with asthma say?

DSC_4520RFrom 350 respondents to Asthma Australia’s parent/carers online survey in November 2016:

  • 74% said their child had two or more asthma flare-ups per year
  • 58% had talked to their child’s teacher at the start of each school year
  • 21% had not provided the school with a spare puffer and spacer
  • 22% had not provided the school with an Asthma Plan
  • 87% were confident their child’s teacher is able to deal with an asthma flare-up

Back to school asthma plan

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Asthma Australia and TerryWhite Chemmart have partnered to to ensure your child is asthma-ready for school.

At back to school time, ensure you:

  • Download and update your child’s Asthma Plan with your GP and discuss your child’s asthma management in preparation for school
  • Visit a TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist to get an inhaler technique demonstration and to purchase your child’s necessary reliever medication, spacer or spacer and mask.
  • Provide the school with a copy of your child’s Asthma Plan and provide the school with a reliever and spacer/spacer with mask, to be kept at school in case of an asthma flare-up.

Visit your local TerryWhite Chemmart

As our official partner for the 2019 Back to School campaign, TerryWhite Chemmart will be heavily promoting the back to school message in pharmacies nationally. 

Throughout January, TerryWhite Chemmart will be supporting parents and carers of children with asthma by ensuring you:

  • Have the required reliever medication, clearly labelled with your child’s details.
  • Have a spacer and mask, also clearly labelled. TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacists will be giving out FREE spacer ‘label stickers’ as well as a fun bag tag/keyring in readiness for school.
  • Receive an inhaler technique demonstration to ensure your child is getting the correct dose of medicine into the lungs.
  • An Asthma Care Plan for schools and encouraging parents and carers to see their GP if they don’t have this.
  • Understand the importance of talking with your child’s teacher and school about asthma management for your child.

Find your local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacy here

Kids get a FREE spacer label sticker and bag tag!

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TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacists will be giving out FREE bag tag and spacer ‘label stickers’ when you download their Health App in-store.

These fun giveaways are a great way to remind your child of the importance of sticking to their daily asthma management plan whilst at school. Hurry, these are only available while stocks last!

What can you do?

2019 Back to School checklist

As part of the campaign, we’ve developed a back to school checklist that includes three simple steps:

  • Give the school a copy of your child’s Asthma Plan
  • Provide a spare asthma reliever (usually blue) and spacer/spacer and mask to the school
  • Talk to your child’s teacher

Download (PDF 3.6MB) the Back to School checklist now. 

Help your child stay happy and healthy this school year. 

  • If your child is on preventer medication, make sure they are taking this as prescribed
  • Use the checklist to develop a partnership with the key staff at your child’s school to share responsibility for their asthma care

See how this works at Luca's school:

For more information on asthma call 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462) or visit asthmaaustralia.org.au 

AA x TerryWhite_R

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This website is a collaboration between Asthma Australia and Asthma Foundations ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, VIC, WA, TAS and SA