Back-to-School Tips for Children With Asthma or Allergies

It's that time of year again: back to school! While it’s usually a time for excitement for both parents and kids, back to school for kids with asthma or allergies can be stressful because it’s also the season for allergies.

Your child can face a higher risk of attacks in a new environment with new kids and possibly new teachers who might not know the symptoms to watch for or the treatment to give. So what can you do to avoid allergy attacks at school? Here are some back-to-school tips from the team at 1st Choice Urgent Care to get you started.

Emphasize the normal routine

Back to school obviously brings about changes to your child’s normal routine. As they get back into the school year, you want to make sure they continue important elements of their at-home routine.

You know that missing medications can lead to potential issues. Review your child’s class schedule, and look at how you can best continue normal medication times. Even if you can still do medications at home, you may have to adjust slightly due to the new time commitments.

Having your child’s new school schedule before the year begins can help you start transitioning to the upcoming school routine while you’re still at home. This way, you can identify possible issues and handle them before they occur while your kids are on their own.

Keeping the routine and medications in a normal rhythm ensures proper adherence during the transition. Surprises may still happen, but the more you prepare, the better.

Discuss your concerns with teachers

Talk to your child's teachers, coaches, school nurses, and any other relevant personnel about your child's conditions. Even if you had the talk last year, it’s important to do a refresh and make sure new staff are also completely aware of what to expect and how to handle different allergy situations.

If your child has a food allergy or is at risk of life-threatening reactions from insect bites, for example, complete an Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan. Make sure it’s on file at the school.

Ensure that those responsible for your child at school know how to react and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector. They are usually prepared for most situations, but it’s always good to ask and confirm.

Look for possible triggers

There can be many allergy triggers in and around the classroom at school. It’s critical that your child's allergies are accurately diagnosed so you know which triggers and allergens to avoid. If you have not done a full analysis of the allergy yet, now is the time to do so.

Inform yourself by looking through your child’s class schedule. Tour the school if possible. Look at how the food is handled and how outside time is handled. Check for any possible cleanliness issues such as dust or anything specific that may impact your child.

Be mindful of playing outside and physical activity

It’s worth looking closely at recess and physical activity time. Recess can be tricky to manage for children with allergies and asthma. Playing outside can mean potential triggers for attacks. For example, if your child has hay fever, it’s wise to stay inside during recess when pollen levels are very high or to take extra medication if the hay fever can be controlled sufficiently in that way.

Likewise, for children where any physical exercise might trigger symptoms, you can work with school staff to find ways for your child to participate in gym class without suffering allergy symptoms. For instance, choose a different sport that is unlikely to trigger symptoms.

It’s always important to have an allergy action plan in place and especially during back to school. Always involve your doctor in making such a plan, and make sure the school is fully aware of your child’s allergies or asthma and how staff should handle different symptoms.

You might not be able to completely eliminate allergy attacks during the back-to-school period, but you definitely can reduce the likelihood of an attack by taking the appropriate measures.

At 1st Choice Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California, we want to make sure you and your family are taken care of, including any issues with asthma and allergies. Get to know Dr. Yadwinder Kang and his years of experience in family medicine. You can count on us and contact us seven days a week.

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