Breathe Easy: 5 Tips for Parents and Teachers to Manage a Child’s Asthma in the New School Year
(August 16, 2017) -
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For parents of the 6.2 Million children with asthma, 108,805 of which are in Nebraska, back-to-school can be a stressful time. According to the American Lung Association in Nebraska, it is important to be prepared.
“It is imperative that a child’s parents, teachers and coaches are all on the same page when it comes to their asthma,” said Julia McCarville, executive director at the American Lung Association in Nebraska. “No asthma is the same. Each child has different asthma triggers, unique medication plans and a protocol for their care. Every person involved in a child’s life needs to be aware of the plan.”
In the U.S., asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalizations among children under 15 and is one of the main reason students miss school due to illness. In fact, asthma results in almost 10 million lost school days every year. Additionally, asthma hospitalizations increase at the beginning of the school year due to viral infections and new asthma triggers in the school.
These alarming statistics underscore the importance of raising awareness for lung disease through events like the Omaha Corporate Cup powered by Green Plains, Inc., coming up on September 10.
The Lung Association offers these tips for parents and teachers to work together to better manage a child’s asthma.
- Make sure you have an Asthma Action Plan for your child: Meet with your child’s asthma doctor to create a management plan to track your child’s medication and healthcare needs. Medication and environmental triggers are both important to the management of your child’s asthma and are outlined in the Asthma Action Plan. Make sure that all of the child’s teachers and coaches have a copy of the plan. If your family cannot afford your child’s medication, speak with your doctor about other medication options.
- Meet with the school before the new year starts: At the beginning of the school year, meet with your child’s new teachers, school nurse and coaches to discuss the Asthma Action Plan. This also provides an opportunity for parents to get to know the school nurse.
- Manage Asthma Triggers in the Classroom: During your meeting with the school, inquire about asthma triggers in the classroom, including class pets, carpeting, food, exercise, air quality and many others.
- Teach your child how to manage their asthma: All children, even younger ones, are encouraged to learn to manage their own asthma, including avoiding their triggers, recognizing their signs and symptoms, and knowing when to take (or ask for) medications. The program, Asthma Basics, can help parents and children learn about asthma together.
- Assess your child’s readiness to carry their own asthma medication: In many school districts, policies are in place that allows a student to carry and self-administer their own asthma medication. Contact the school health services staff to find out more about your school's policy and you can use this assessment to see if your child is ready to carry their own medication here.
The 37th Annual Fight for Air Corporate Cup 10K and 2 Mile is the Lung Association’s signature fundraising event and is one of the largest corporate road races in the United States. Attracting over 6,000 runners and walkers annually, hundreds of companies will also participate.
The proceeds of the event will help fund the American Lung Association’s ongoing support of education, research and advocacy in finding a cure for lung disease.
About Green Plains
Green Plains Inc., headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is one of world’s largest producers of clean, renewable ethanol. The Fortune 1000 company has 17 ethanol production facilities in nine states where they purchase approximately 14 million tons of corn annually to be used in the ethanol production process. Green Plains also has operations related to grain handling and storage, agribusiness, commodity marketing and distribution services, and food ingredients. Nebraska is home to five of Green Plains’ ethanol facilities (Atkinson, Central City, Ord, Wood River and York), making them the largest producer in the state. Green Plains is excited that drivers in Nebraska and across the country have access to clean, renewable fuel that is produced right here at home. More ethanol means we can reduce tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions while improving air quality. For more information about Green Plains, visit www.gpreinc.com.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.