Asthma is a condition which can be prevented and could be reversed in most of the instances if quick action is taken. Since the presentation of an asthma attack of a child is non specific in most instances, people who are with the child should be knowledgeable in identifying and taking necessary steps to prevent a more serious exacerbation.
School is a place where the children with asthma would find most of their trigger factors. The triggers are the stimulants to the child’s airway to precipitate a inflammatory response that leads to an asthmatic attack. Dust, pollens, paints, strenuous activities such as playing and other kids with respiratory infections are some of the triggers that can precipitate an asthma attack in susceptible children.
Since the parents and the caregivers who knows about the childs condition is not present at the school at all times, it is the teachers who will have to be relied upon to minimize the chances of the child developing an asthma attack.
The teachers of your child needs to know few basic tasks,
How to prevent your child from developing an attack How to identify early signs of a wheezing attack What measures to be taken in order to prevent worsening of the attack
1. Preventing your child from developing an attack:
The teachers should be made aware about the triggers that can precipitate an attack in your child. These could be,
Dust Pollens Certain smells Foods Hot or cold drinks Paints Soft toys or pets Exercise Respiratory infections…etc.
You should explain to your child’s teacher about these triggers and instruct them on the need to avoid or restrict such triggers. You should be know these trigger factors as different children will react to different triggers at various intensities.
For instance, exercises in moderate amount might not trigger an asthma attack. Even the excessive exertion might not cause an attack at certain instances. Therefore, the only thing the teachers can do is to strike a balance in the activities of the child.
You certainly can request the teachers to keep the class room and the surroundings clean and dust free. Making use of the air-conditioning and closing the windows in the pollen season will benefit children with frequent asthma attacks.
2. Identifying early symptoms of an attack:
The next thing your child’s teacher needs to know is the signs of an acute attack. You should tell the teacher to keep a look out on the following symptoms,
Cough Excessive tiredness Rapid breathing Whistling noises when breathing Nasal flaring
You should also inform the teacher about the warning signs of an more severe attack, such as,
Inability to complete a sentence Inactivity Irritability Poor feeding Loss of consciousness
3. Measures to be taken with the early signs:
The last thing you need to make the teachers aware is the medications that the child is taking and how they are been used.
You should provide them with a list of medications that the child use, the dosages of each drug, in what form it has to be delivered and when they should give the drug.
Preferably, the drugs and how it can be given to the child should be demonstrated to the teacher as it would facilitate the effective performance of carrying out the procedure.
You should also explain the need to call for help in case the initial medication does not resolve the condition or if the child develops the warning signs which was mentioned earlier.
If you are concerned in sending your child to school due to the risk of developing an asthma attack, it should not be so. Most of the school teachers are trained in basic medical treatment procedures, including giving asthma medications. Some schools even possess nebulizers to be used in an emergency. Therefore, once you make sure the teachers are being sufficiently informed, let the child be free!