Is your child’s asthma under control?
You must assess whether your child’s asthma is well controlled before considering allowing them to stay the night at a friend’s place, especially if they have never stayed there before. It is also important that they feel comfortable enough to ask for assistance if they start to experience any symptoms during their stay.
Managing possible triggers
- A new or unfamiliar environment can pose unforeseen problems that could trigger your child’s asthma. Good communication and a little planning can ensure that the sleepover is loads of fun for all concerned.
- The friends home should be cigarette/smoke free.
- Make sure there are no pets if you child is allergic to them.
- While it is not possible to ensure the house is dust-free, you can provide a sleeping bag or other bedding to reduce possible symptoms. If they are going to be sleeping on the floor you may want to send along a plastic sheet or sleeping mat for between the carpet and their bedding if dust or dust mites are a trigger for their asthma.
- Make sure that both the adult in charge and your child are aware of possible activities that may be an issue e.g. pillow fights, hide-and-seek in high pollen areas
- What the child is going to be given to eat may also be a consideration if there are any food allergies.
- Put all of your child’s medications as well as a copy of their written asthma action plan into a small bag that can be easily accessed should they need it.
- If your child is younger then this bag should be given to the adult in charge, ensuring that they understand what general care is needed as well as what they need to in case of emergency. After all, you do not want them to feel anxious or worried all evening either.
Ensure that the school has an up-to-date copy of your child’s asthma management plan as well as enough medication to last the entire trip, plus some extra in case. Make sure that the teachers or parents supervising the trip understand how to treat your child should they experience an asthma attack, particularly if they are travelling to remote locations.