Back-to-School Allergy and Asthma Tips for the New School Year

Allergy and Asthma Tips for Kids Going Back-to-School

Back-to-School Allergy

With the end of summer fast approaching, many families are getting ready for the back-to-school season. Shopping for supplies and clothes and meeting new teachers and old friends can create excitement for the new year. But for families with asthma and allergies, back-to-school activities come with more exposure to allergens and irritants. We have gathered some of the most valuable back-to-school allergy and asthma tips to help your family transition back to school. The best part is these tips can be used all year long, not just at the beginning of the school year.

Back-to-School Allergy and Asthma Tips

Be Aware of Potential Triggers that Could Set Off Attacks

Back-to-school allergy and asthma attacks happen, but knowing exactly what the triggers are and what your child is allergic to or sensitive to is the first step to protecting them from attacks. Many school buildings remain empty over the summer, allowing dust and irritants to build up. The beginning of the school year also coincides with the start of the fall allergy season, adding another layer of issues. Worse, most kids with asthma also have allergies, which can set each other off, creating a terrible cycle of suffering. The most common irritants and triggers include:

• Dust
• Mold
• Pollen
• Smoke
• Dry air
• Vapors and residues from harsh cleaning products
• Physical exertion
• Stress

Managing the stresses of a change in routine can be challenging during the first few weeks. Taking things one step at a time is essential and applying solutions as needed. Getting an allergy test done beforehand can give you a head start on potential issues.

Create an Action Plan

Getting an action plan in place before the new year begins is an excellent way to help manage problem areas and allow faster responses when reactions occur. Communicate with your child’s school about your action plan and what steps need to be taken when an attack occurs. Taking these steps will help put everything into place.

• Speak to the school nurse or faculty and pass on the doctor’s instructions so there is no confusion.
• Inquire about what paperwork is needed to document your child’s medications so that they can be on hand in case of an attack.
• Make sure to list all allergies (including food) to prevent confusion or mistakes due to things like poor memory.

Follow the Treatment Plan

Sticking to the doctor’s treatment plan is important for long-term relief. Deviating from prescription medication can quickly lead to problems. Long-lasting, slow-release medications should be taken at home as scheduled to help through the day; fast-acting immediate relief treatments should be available at school when needed.

Watch for Changes

Every child is different; as they develop and grow, things can change very quickly. Some children can outgrow allergies, while others can develop worse symptoms. Be on the lookout for changes in your child’s allergy or asthma symptoms, and make sure to speak with their doctor right away when they do.

What You Can Do

Ultimately, you are your child’s first and best defense when dealing with asthma and allergies. Taking proactive steps to prepare and educate yourself about their issues will give you a real edge when dealing with attacks.

• Stay up-to-date on medical information about treatments for asthma and allergies.
• Watch for any changes in your child’s day-to-day responses, no matter how small, so you are not caught off guard in case things get worse.
• Keep everyone involved aware of changes in treatment or severity immediately. The school and care providers need to know if the doctor changes anything in the treatment plan.

With the right plan and precautions in place, adverse reactions and problematic issues can be minimized, giving your child the best chance at having a great school year.

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