Back to school can be a difficult time for any young student, but for kids with asthma, it can bring a new set of challenges. Fear of an asthma attack at school, or worrying about the stigma attached to a loud and disruptive breathing machine can cause anxiety for kids. Creating a written asthma action plan with together with your healthcare provider can help your child to feel in control of his asthma and reduce anxiety. Here is what you should include:

  1. Your everyday treatment plan. As your child is older, helping them to understand how their medications work can help with compliance and better their control over the symptoms.
  2. Inhaler Cover
  3. List symptoms. Again, you want to help give your child a sense of control. Asthma can be disruptive for your child's learning, so you want them to know when it is okay to seek treatment from the school nurse. This will also help prevent a severe attack and allow them to fully participate in all school activities (like P.E. and recess).
  4. Share your treatment plan with your child's teachers, coaches and the school nurse. It is important you work as a team to help prevent severe attacks.
  5. Make sure your child has access to his inhaler. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow children with asthma to carry and use their own quick relief inhaler at school. Using an inhaler cover that attaches to the outside of their backpack will give you and your child a quick visual to ensure they have it for school every day. If your child isn't ready to use an inhaler in her own, be sure the school nurse has an inhaler, or designated nebulizer available for treatment.
  6. Remove as many potential triggers as possible. Most schools no longer use chalk, but other dusty areas, class pets, or certain cleaning products may trigger an attack in your child. If you know of certain triggers, be sure to include them in your action plan, and remind teachers and coaches that your child needs to be seated away from triggers to help prevent an attack.

With the right plan in place, you can ensure your child has a healthy school year.