The start of the school year is busy enough without the added concern about your child’s asthma striking them in the classroom or playground.
But that’s just the time when kids are most at risk of asthma flare-ups, with a spike in asthma attacks and hospital visits happening during the first few weeks of the school term every year.
When children return to classrooms, stress, a change of environment or allergens, and less strict asthma management over the holidays can trigger asthma symptoms. New classmates can also bring a new batch of colds and flu, which a risk factor for asthma flare-ups.
What can you do?
- Talk with your doctor about updating your child’s written asthma action plan
- Get your child back into their asthma routine before school starts, make sure they take their preventer medications every day if prescribed
- Ask your pharmacist to check your child is using their puffer properly or visit our How-to Video library
- Have a check-up before the school year or sports lessons start
- Pack a spare reliever puffer and spacer in your child’s school bag, checking that the puffer isn’t empty or out of date.
- Make sure your child feels comfortable asking for help or telling their teacher if they are getting asthma symptoms
- Give the school and/or childcare a copy of your child’s asthma action plan and tell teachers and staff if your child needs help using their puffer
- Talk to the school about asthma triggers and find out if staff have training on how to recognise and respond to asthma symptoms.
Take measures before and during the first few weeks of school can go a long way to helping keep your child well and out of hospital.
Back to school checklist
To help your kids enjoy a happy and healthy start to the school year, Asthma Australia has a handy back to school checklist.