Suffering from asthma and living a normal life can be a delicate balance, especially for a child in school. If your child has asthma, you need to be prepared to discuss it with their teacher.
What Does Your Child’s Teacher Need to Know About Asthma?
Before the school year begins, you should schedule an informative meeting with your child’s school teacher to discuss all matters pertaining to asthma. If your child suffers from severe asthma, it is especially important that you discuss medicine, asthma action plans, etc. Let’s take a closer look at what your child’s teacher needs to know about asthma.
1. What are your child’s triggers?
The first thing your child’s teacher needs to know is what triggers your child’s asthma. Exercise, allergies, anxiety, and bad air quality can all cause asthma attacks. Providing your child’s teacher with a list of triggers can help them maintain an asthma-friendly environment.
2. What are your child’s symptoms?
Additionally, the teacher needs to be familiar with your child’s symptoms. Do they begin to get anxious? Do their attacks come on gradually or quickly? How severe are flare-ups?
3. Who are your child’s emergency contacts?
Provide your child’s teacher with a list of emergency contacts, including your child’s doctor. Make sure they know exactly who to call in a bad situation.
4. What type of medicine does your child take, and how is it administered?
While the majority of this area likely falls on the school nurse, make sure your child’s teacher is also aware of prescribed meds, inhalers, etc.
5. Does the teacher need to log any data?
Get to know your child’s school nurse. Talk to him or her about your child’s condition and provide a copy of your child’s updated files, your doctor’s info, medication, triggers, symptoms, etc.
Knowing the Difference Between Asthma and ADHD
A common issue resulting from asthma in school is the confusion between asthma and ADHD. Many asthma medicines affect your child’s ability to focus, which can be mistaken as either behavioral issues or as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
This is why it is so important to discuss medication with your child’s teacher. While your child should exhibit good behavior in class, difficulty focusing may be the fault of their medicine and not just poor behavior.
Note: If your child’s teacher hasn’t dealt with asthmatic students before, be patient and gracious. Everyone’s experience with chronic illness is different, and it’s okay for a teacher to learn, too!
What Does Your Child Need to Know About Asthma?
Your child’s teacher needs to know about asthma, but so does your child. Use the above list of discussion topics to make sure your child understands their own triggers, symptoms, etc. Especially in a school setting, it can be tempting for your child to try to “keep up” with other students and exasperate their asthma. They need to understand their limits to prevent severe flare-ups or attacks.
If your child suffers from exercise-induced asthma, ask trusted individuals at the school to keep a close eye on your child’s physical activity. Likewise, outdoor air quality plays a major role in lung health.
Academics are important, but the health of your loved one is of far greater consequence. Ensuring everyone (child and authority) is on the same page will help protect your child and ease your mind.