DENVER - As children across the metro-area head back to school, parents, teachers and even students themselves have a lot of worries. How many days of school those children might miss shouldn't be one of them.
Unfortunately, that's the reality for children with asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children with asthma miss a combined 14.4 million school days a year. Many of those occur just after the school year begins because conditions are at their worst.
"You've got this triple whammy of conditions, with the viruses going around, because the kids have all gone back to school and they're sharing them, then there are allergens feeding into their asthma, and they may not have been as consistent with their medications over the summer as they should have been," Dr. Kirstin Carel, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at National Jewish Hospital, said.
If you have a child with asthma, Dr. Carel recommends the following:
- Just like shopping for school supplies or new clothes, make back-to-school asthma planning an annual routine.
- Check all your child's medications to make sure they are not expired, especially if using less medication during the summer months.
- Make an appointment with your child's school nurse to fill out all necessary paperwork before school starts and make sure rescue medication is at the school in case of emergencies.
- Teach your child good hygiene. During the school day your child will interact with dozens of other children, touching and using the same supplies and equipment. Make sure they wash their hands often or carry hand sanitizer to use throughout the day, especially before eating.
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