Asthma Society of Ireland warns of danger posed in the weeks following the return to school
Emergency Department visits for children with asthma expected to rise significantly in September as they go back into classrooms. The Asthma Society of Ireland is providing support and help to parents, teachers and students to manage their back-to-school asthma preparations.
Hospital admissions for children suffering with asthma aged between 5 – 14 more than tripled from 37 in August to 151 in September 2015 and the in patient bed days increased by 378% in September the same year, according to the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (HIPE).
ASI warn parents and teachers to be vigilant for asthma triggers at this dangerous time of year and is urging all guardians of children with asthma to put an asthma action plan in place both at home and at school. It is advised to encourage asthmatic students to take their inhaler as needed and to not make them feel embarrassed.
Kevin Kelly, Advocacy and Communications Manager of ASI, said: “Back-to-school time can be a hectic time for many children. A change of environment, coupled with exposure to colds and viruses, means that asthmatic students are exposed to more asthma triggers.”
“Asthma is a very controllable condition, and many of these emergency situations can be avoided by putting proper support systems in place. It is imperative that parents and teachers empower children with an asthma management plan to achieve maximum control over the condition and cope with the onset of any asthma symptoms.”
Asthma affects 1 in 5 children so every classroom will more than likely have at least one child with asthma. As with all chronic illnesses education is critical and families need support to help them manage asthma at home and at school. To combat this spike in hospital admissions the ASI is providing a back-to-school checklist for parents, backed up by our Asthma Adviceline call-back service.
- Review Child's Asthma: Visit your GP to have your child's asthma reviewed before school so they have an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan which can be copied and given to their teacher.
- Talk to the School and Teacher: It is of great importance to discuss your child's asthma with the school and their teacher(s), including coaches and support teachers if applicable so they know what triggers affect your child.
- Easy Access to their Medication: Ensure your child always has their reliever inhaler (usually blue) at all times. If you have a spare spacer at home, label it and have it left in school as the use of spacers are advised when giving a child their inhaler.
- Support from Asthma Society of Ireland: We have resources such as asthma attack cards and asthma action plans available to download from our website. You can also get tailored advice and support from our Asthma Adviceline nurses. Call 1800 44 54 64 to speak with an asthma specialist.
For advice or support on asthma, or for further information about the asthma clinics to be held nationwide visit www.asthma.ie