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Hendrick Health offers back-to-school preparation tips for students with asthma

Hendrick Health offers back-to-school preparation tips for students with asthma

For children with asthma, excitement for the first day of school can be overshadowed by anxiety about the possibility of having an asthma episode away from home.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about one in 10 U.S. children has been diagnosed with asthma. This chronic disease can cause the bronchial tubes, or airways to the lungs, to inflame and tighten, leading to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

Most asthma attacks and hospitalizations occur in September, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Factors for this trend include fall pollen, the spread of viruses and bacteria when children return to school and exposure to asthma triggers at school.

“Preventing asthma attacks will go a long way in ensuring a productive school year and making children feel comfortable participating in school activities,” said Susan McQuade, respiratory therapist and asthma educator for Hendrick Health.

Parents of children with asthma can take the following steps before fall classes begin to minimize episodes at school and have a plan should one occur:

  • In the summer, take medications as prescribed to manage asthma. And, visit with your healthcare provider to obtain an asthma action plan to share with school staff.
  • Teach your child age-appropriate skills to self-manage asthma.
  • Consider having an extra inhaler to be kept at the school.
  • Discuss with the school nurse before classes begin the child’s care plan and medications and how to handle asthma episodes or attacks.
  • Because of the benefits of physical activity, discuss with school staff strategies for participation in recess, physical education class and sports while minimizing asthma symptoms.

To schedule a free one-on-one asthma care education session, call Hendrick at 325-670-2280.