MONDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- As many kids with asthma get
ready to head back to school this fall, the American Lung
Association urged parents to prepare a detailed action plan to
manage their child's condition and help ease their transition back
to the classroom.
"While new clothes and backpacks are often thought of as back-to-school necessities, it is even more essential for parents of students with asthma to work with their healthcare providers and the school to develop a comprehensive action plan detailing the various elements of good asthma control in the school environment," Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association (ALA), said in an ALA news release.
The ALA encouraged parents who have children with asthma to
complete the following checklist to keep their kids healthy during
the school year.
- Create an action plan. Draw up a detailed list of personal
information about the child's asthma symptoms, medications and
specific instructions on how to deal with an asthma attack.
- Get a check-up. Even if a child's asthma is well managed,
asthma action plans, including medications and instructions
regarding physical activity, should be re-evaluated and updated by
a doctor each year.
- Schedule a school visit. Meet with the school nurse and
teachers to make sure they are updated on the child's asthma action
plan, including specific asthma triggers and typical symptoms so
they can help in the event of an attack.
- Know the school's emergency plan. Aside from providing the
school with emergency contact information, it's important for
parents to know how the school staff handles crises and whether or
not they have any specialized training for asthma-related
- Be an advocate. In all 50 states, students are legally able
to keep their asthma medications with them at school. Schools have
individual policies on how children can do this as well as
paperwork parent must fill out.
- Seek out assistance. There are prescription assistance
services that can help parents or guardians pay for their child's
The ALA also strongly recommended that all children,
particularly those with asthma, get a seasonal flu shot every
"As part of your back-to-school preparation, make sure your child with asthma gets a flu shot," said Edelman. "Flu epidemics start and spread in schools, and the flu can lead to a serious asthma attack." He noted that getting a flu shot does not trigger an asthma attack.
Asthma affects 7 million children and teenagers in the United
States and accounts for more than 14 million missed school days
each year, according to the ALA.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology provides
more information on