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Back-to-School Advice for Parents of Kids with Asthma

PHOTO: As kids head back to school, parents of children with asthma need to take a few precautions to make sure they are safe at school. Courtesy CDC/Amanda Mills.
PHOTO: As kids head back to school, parents of children with asthma need to take a few precautions to make sure they are safe at school. Courtesy CDC/Amanda Mills.
September 3, 2013

PORTLAND, Maine - As kids head back to school, parents of children with asthma need to take a few precautions to make sure their youngsters are safe there. Sharon Schumack of the New England chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America set forth step one.

"Every parent of a child with asthma in Maine should make sure that they have an up-to-date written asthma action plan for that child from the child's doctor," she declared. "And make sure to give a copy to a school nurse."

She said such an action plan may include securing authorization for the pupil to carry a rescue inhaler.

Having a plan to manage your child's asthma in the school environment is very important and it should include a list of the child's asthma triggers. As well, Schumack said, there's another important step.

"People who have asthma are very vulnerable to having complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, that can land them in the hospital," she cautioned. "So a flu shot for everyone with asthma is recommended, starting at the age of six months."

According to a Kids Count survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, in 2012, 8 percent of Maine kids had asthma problems.

The American Lung Association also offers a variety of free online resources for parents of kids with asthma at Lung.org, or you can call 800-LUNG-USA.


Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - ME