Your Child’s Asthma Checklist for School
The first day of school will be here before you know it. So now’s the time to prepare for sending your asthmatic child back into the classroom. Here’s a list of preparations to follow so your child and their school are ready.
Meet with your child’s teacher before the school year begins. Inform them of your child’s asthma and how well it’s controlled. Educate them about asthma and its symptoms. They should also know they need to be prepared to take the proper actions in case of an emergency.
All medication needs to be checked in with the school nurse. This includes inhalers, nebulizers, allergy pills, etc. They will also need a note from your child’s doctor and the doctor’s contact information. Introduce your child to the school nurse before school starts so they can become acquainted and discuss procedures and any concerns.
The school legally needs your permission to contact your child’s doctor due to HIPAA privacy laws. Organize the proper paperwork for that communication well beforehand. As mentioned, the nurse will need medical documentation of the condition. You should also have a doctor’s note for gym class that outlines if and how your child’s asthma affects his or her physical activities.
Children should wear an ID identifying their condition. In the case of an emergency—especially if they’re unconscious or unable to speak—an ID would make it easier for medical personnel or chaperones to recognize your child’s needs and how to treat it. Lauren’s Hope offers fun and colorful kid ID options, such as bracelets and dog tags.
All 50 states allow for asthmatic children to have their quick-relief medications, such as a rescue inhaler, on them at all times. But parents need to communicate this need to school officials and follow the school guidelines. You and your child also need to know any other school health policies and emergency protocols. Understanding the rules will help prevent emergencies and keep you out of legal trouble.
Ask the doctor to write new scripts for inhalers so your child has multiple ones at school—one for your child to have, one for the teacher and one for the school nurse.
Just like the inhalers, you’ll also need to distribute copies of your child’s Asthma Action Plan. Give one to the teacher, nurse, gym teacher, and one for your kid to have on them as a reference. Before school begins, revisit the action plan with the doctor to ensure it is up-to-date and effective. You should also explain the plan to the nurse and teachers so they understand it.
Make sure your child knows about their asthma and their Asthma Action Plan. Reassure them that it’s okay to ask for help. The more they know about their condition, the better they can handle it on their own at school and be proactive.