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Managing your child's asthma at school

When a child has asthma, it is important that the school knows about the condition and what to do in the event of a medical emergency.

School nurses and teachers will need to be aware of the asthma medication used and should be given a spare emergency inhaler.

How can I prevent asthma problems for my child at school?

The most important thing you can do to prevent asthma problems for your child at school is to talk to your child. Depending on how old he or she is, explain to your child as much about asthma as he or she can understand. Ideally, your child should be able to keep track of when it's time to take medication, know how to use the asthma inhaler properly, know how to use a peak flow meter, what the number on the peak flow meter means, and what to do if that number is too low.

You should also make sure that the school staff members know all about managing your child’s asthma. They must know how severe the asthma is, what the triggers are, what asthma medications to use and how to give them correctly, how to use the peak flow meter, and what to do in case of an asthma attack.

The specific steps for managing your child’s asthma at school should be written in your child’s asthma action plan. Give the asthma action plan to the school to distribute to every official who may be responsible for your child. It’s important to meet with your child’s form tutor/class teacher and other relevant school staff members to explain the asthma action plan, including your child’s triggers, the severity of the asthma, common symptoms, and effective treatment of your child's asthma.

In addition, you should look around your child's classroom and other areas where he or she goes at the school to see if there are any known allergy or asthma triggers, you should work with the teacher to reduce your child's exposure to these triggers.

Also, it is very important to give the school nurse all the medications that your child needs along with the correct instructions, including your child's asthma action plan. Remember that for some asthma medications, like asthma inhalers, there is often no way of telling whether the inhaler still contains medication or not. You will need to keep track of the date when you sent the asthma inhaler and replace the medications at school regularly.

Finally, it is important to talk with the teachers and other school staff frequently to make sure they’re properly managing your child’s asthma at school. Make contact regularly and ensure everyone is informed about your child’s individual circumstances.

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