Being 'asthma ready' for school starts now!
Every year there is a sharp rise in the number of asthma attacks for children when they return to school after the Summer break. This results in a significant increase in Emergency Department visits, hospitalisations and days off school. Not only is this unsettling for children 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?
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 the parents/carers of children with asthma day?
From 350 respondents to Asthma Australia’s parent/carer 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.
What role do parents and carers play?
You can help your child be prepared and have a healthy start to the new school year.
Stay on top of your child's asthma management over the holidays
To ensure your child is prepared for the return to school asthma spike:
- See your GP before Christmas to update your child’s Asthma Plan
- Ensure you pack your child’s asthma medication on all holiday outings
- Keep vigilant with your child's preventer medication and ensure they take this regularly and
- Stick to their Asthma Plan for a happy and healthy holiday
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 and February, TerryWhite Chemmart will be ensuring parents and carers of children with asthma have:
- The required reliever medication, clearly labelled with your child's details.
- 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 Plan 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.
Visit the TerryWhite Chemmart store locator here
Talk with your child’s teacher
- Asthma is different for every child. When meeting with your child’s teacher, discuss your child’s asthma, including their symptoms and severity.
- You can use your child’s Asthma Plan as a tool to talk about their asthma medication, how to use this (a demonstration could be helpful) and the extent to which they can self-manage.
- Ask about your child’s school asthma policy and establish two-way communication channels around your child’s asthma, including reporting of any flare-ups and use of medication at school.
For more information on asthma call 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462) or visit asthma.org.au