Steps to take to keep students with asthma safe

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /

a Health Alert this morning about your child their school and asthma there are three important steps parents should be following right now if you have a child who suffers from the breathing disorder they include an important question that you may not have asked how much does the school nurse your child’s school know about asthma and treating it and what happens if your child has an attack and the nurse is not at the school that day Carrie Smith is the lead asthma educator at Wolfson Children’s Hospital good morning to you thank you for being here I do appreciate this so I think that the bottom line in that first step needs to be it sounds like really asking questions because we I think we as parents make assumptions that that school nurse is there every single day and should your child have an attack that they will be the one that is helping your child but we should make that assumption absolutely not the biggest thing is to communicate to that front office staff letting them be aware of your child’s history of asthma it doesn’t have to be something that’s currently happening it could be something that happened previous just being prepared with the right communication skills and it’s interesting too because I know that my daughter the school nurse at my daughter’s school is not there every day maybe once a week maybe even less than that so that’s an important thing to know and a lot of times the front staff there is one main person but a lot of times they’re also volunteer parents so do you need to also talk to like the PE coach since it could be triggered by that and what about the teacher the teacher anyone that’s involved in your child’s care especially their PE teacher because when that child is active at school a lot of times that’s where the child is going to experience the asthma exacerbation or some parents reference the asthma attack so being proactive at your current open house whether that’s going to be in the next few coming weeks having that comfortable conversation and not being afraid to let that athletic coach know that yes my child does have asthma and I just want to be prepared in case of an emergency right so then that brings us to the second step that parents should be following which is coming up with something called an asthma action plan and I know that this is on the website actually for wolfson and we’ll show it to our viewers at home to see what it is you can print it off also what what does how does this help then make sure that our children’s our child with asthma is stay safe at school so the big take away with the asthma action plan is that it’s just that it’s a plan so it’s a way to communicate of what’s happening it’s based off a green a red yellow and green zone and there’s a great section at the bottom of the form and that it’ll that states in there that if a child has asthma its title statue 16 that a child may carry their inhaler on their person while at school and that is a Florida State law but again it wraps back to the communication with the school to let them know and the big thing you have to remember with the asthma action plan is that it has to be signed by physician the principal and the teacher have to have a copy of the asthma action plan and having experiences with my own daughter also last spring it’s also important to that that there is a communication between the doctor and the front office because my daughter initially was told that she couldn’t carry her inhaler with her and a special signature was required so keep that in mind and also if you do have an inhaler make sure you keep that box cuz the school does need the box I just stopped school just with the inhaler and the spacer and they wouldn’t let her keep it because it didn’t have the box that Kate didn’t have the box and the big thing to remember too is that there is an expiration date on the inhaler so always make sure when you’re dropping the inhaler off to the school front office check the numbers on the back to make sure there’s a full canister of medication in addition to the expiration date so that way when you’re dropping off the inhaler for the school year it’s not a passed or expired inhaler that the child will be using throughout the school year now should your child then step number three should your child have some kind of episode or asthma attack at school what should we be telling our child because sometimes you know if they’re I know if they’re wheezing they feel like they’re disrupting the class and so they want to go outside or maybe go to the bathroom and and that’s not really necessarily the best thing to do is it’s not the best thing to do when kids get scared and they get anxious and a lot of the children that we serve that come to the hospital they get scared and so they find themselves a lot of times in the bathroom thinking in that their safe place when they have an asthma attack and it’s actually the worst place because when they do experience those symptoms as you mentioned wheezing coughing the shortness of breath then they can go down in the bathroom and that is the worst place they can be and because not always there’s a lot of kids in the bathroom they’re certainly I’m not frequently a lot of adults so something bad could happen to them and nobody knows and nobody knows it exactly so again just that reinforcement of the communication for the child to not be embarrassed for them to be proactive about their disease and that there’s a lot of kids that have asthma that’s okay and that’s okay and they may be really surprised once they do talk about it and they understand why I’m not the only kid in my class that has asthma it’s been feel more confident absolutely because in a classroom of 30 students there’s likely three students in that classroom of 30 that had the diagnosis of asthma important information three steps remember that folks if you will or caregivers of children who have asthma Kerry thank you for being here so I appreciate an important information to keep our kids safe while they’re in school and of course don’t forget you can find Wolfson’s action plan online we’ll make it easy and put a link to it in our website you can find this interview later this morning post on News for Jack’s comm just look under the morning show page

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