No relief at school for Australian kids with asthma

1 February 2017

Twenty-one per cent of Australian parents of children with asthma don’t provide their child’s spare reliever puffer to the school, according to a recent Asthma Australia survey.

It’s well known that asthma flare-ups in children spike every February with the mass return to school after the summer holidays.

Potential causes for this rise in asthma events are the spread of viruses among the children as they mix together again, and the children not having taken their preventive medicines consistently over the summer holidays, when perhaps they didn’t have symptoms.

Asthma Australia recommends that every Australian child with asthma has a current written Asthma Action Plan that has been shared with the school staff. A child’s Asthma Action Plan should be reviewed regularly with your doctor and the updated version given to the school. Before the start of the new school year is a good time to see your doctor for a signed Asthma Action Plan.

Sydney GP, Dr Karley Heyworth emphasises, “School camps and sports or swimming carnivals are places where children with asthma  may have a flare up at this time of year. Teenagers can often be without their puffer when they need it on high school camp.

“Parents should ensure that their child's teacher is aware of their asthma and the location of their puffer. It is important that the school has an up to date copy of the asthma plan and children, parents and teachers are familiar with the appropriate actions to take in the case of acute asthma," she added.

Asthma Australia also recommends that you clearly label medication and devices with your child’s name - and make sure the medication is within date and has enough remaining.

As well as your child’s class teacher and the school nurse, don’t forget to talk to their sports’ supervisors and coaches about your child's asthma and triggers.

Last Reviewed: 6 February 2017
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References

Asthma Australia. Back to school asthma. https://www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/news/national/back­to­school­asthma
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