Sending children back to school comes with a long checklist of items to remember. For example, you need to know what school supplies to buy. You will want to visit the school to find the classroom and meet the teacher. You will also plan after-school activities full of fun enrichment opportunities. If you have a child with asthma or allergies going back to school this fall, you need another item on that list. Specifically, your checklist should also include connecting with the teachers, school nurse and other school staff about your child’s symptoms, treatment and prevention strategies.
Here is a checklist for mothers, fathers and doctors to ensure your child is in good hands and prepared for the new school year.
Ensure your patients (and/or children) have an asthma check-up prior to school starting. Even if the child is well controlled, meeting with the doctor is an opportunity to evaluate medications and physical activity restrictions.
Confirm medications are up-to-date, filled and not expired. Double check that their current inhaler isn’t about to lose its’ juice on first day of school with no back-up.
Get an asthma or anaphylaxis action plan put together. This should include informing staff at school, nurse, teachers, and your child!
Discuss medical emergency policies and procedures. Ensure that your child’s school has procedures in place for identifying symptoms and for treatment of emergencies. Be sure to check your state laws as they will govern what the school can and cannot do. You can check out the 2014 State Honor Roll to see where your state stands regarding policies for children with asthma and allergies in school settings.
Talk to the school and teachers about triggers. Insect stings. Chalk dust. Playground games. Show and tell where animals are involved. Food allergies.
There are so many things to think about during these back to school times! But your patient’s health is KEY to a successful start to their school year. Make sure you have scheduled appointments with your asthmatic “little ones” as they head on into their next year of school—healthy and prepared.
To help treat and diagnose them before the school year begins, be sure to implement Spirometry into your practice. It is quick and easy to implement and train your staff on—even before school starts.