Back to School with Asthma
Expert: use inhalers before school starts
Schoolchildren with asthma should start using their inhalers before the start of the new school term, a charity has warned.
Open Airways cofounder Liz Boden said exposure to mould and viruses in schools was responsible for a sharp rise in asthma during the second and third week of term.
She said: “The peak asthma time tends to be in the second and third week of school. Children have been back, the first week they are fine and then they get a cold and it goes to their chest.
“So, the most important thing is the preventer inhaler. If they have been on one, then it needs to be started at least two weeks before the start of term.”
Ms Boden said many children stop taking their preventive medication during the summer because there are fewer viruses and they are spending more time in the fresh air.
She explained that visits to the doctors or emergency department for asthma spike around the world at the start of the new school year because schools have been closed up during the summer.
“Yes, they are cleaned but there certainly will be mould there and the mould will be in the books and things like that.”
She also explained that children are more likely to be exposed to new viruses because many families have travelled during the summer holidays and can bring them back to the island.
Ms Boden added: “Viruses are the number one thing that triggers asthma to get out of control.”
She said it was also important that teachers are made aware of children’s asthma, particularly if it is severe. “Loads of children have mild asthma, but there are those few children who have severe asthma who usually have multiple other allergies, the sinus allergies, the food allergies.
“Make sure the school knows about it and then make sure the child has their rescue inhaler at school at all times.”
Ms Boden said it was also the perfect time for children with asthma to have their annual review of their asthma treatment and update their asthma action plan.
For more information, see the flyer under “Related Media”, call Open Airways on 232-0264 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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