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Back to school asthma

Every year there is a well-documented rise in asthma flare-ups when children return to school after the Christmas break.  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

Are you ‘ASTHMA READY’ for school?

Help your child stay happy and healthy this school year. 

See how this works at Luca’s school:

What you can do 

The good news is that you can take action to reduce the chances of this happening for your child. Asthma Australia has prepared a checklist for parents to download and follow:

Checklist for parents (PDF 4.5MB)

Be ASTHMA READY

  • 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

Your survey responses

From 350 respondents to our parent/carer online survey in November 2016, you told us,

  • 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

Asthma Australia in schools

Asthma Australia trains 40,000 school staff each year in Asthma First Aid and provides Asthma Emergency Kits to help schools be prepared to manage an asthma attack at any time.  Our trainers provided information sessions to 10,000 students in schools in 2016. This included how to help a friend if they have an asthma attack.  Our interactive webpage, Asthma Kids, had over 8,000 visits where primary school children do Chester’s Asthma Trail.

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