Asthma Australia have introduced a new three-step checklist for parents to get their kids asthma ready upon returning to school after the summer break.
According to Asthma Australia, researchers have found there is an alarming rise in asthma flare-ups when children come back to school, resulting in a significant increase in emergency department visits, hospitalisations and sick days.
A study of 350 participants in Asthma Australia’s 2016 parent/carers online survey revealed 74 per cent admitted to their child having two or more asthma flare-ups per year.
It also found 22 per cent had not provided their child’s school with an asthma plan.
The list has been created in the hope of reducing the risk of an asthma epidemic amongst school children across the country.
“The period after Christmas holidays is often ripe for an increase in asthma flare ups. Sometimes preventer medicines are not taken daily as prescribed over the summer holidays or children mix with others and there is an inevitable spreading of viruses,” said Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman.
“In preparation for the return back to school, we are advising parents and carers to review and update their child’s asthma action plan with their GP, with support from their local community pharmacist.”
Terry White Chemmart pharmacist Krystal Tresillian said community pharmacists can provide parents with important resources to educate them about how to treat and manage asthma.
“Pharmacists can educate parents about the proper use of inhalation devices, especially if their children have just been diagnosed and they are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed,” she said.
“It’s important that parents and their children are thoroughly educated about the condition, so they know their triggers and warning signs for an attack and they know what steps to take.”
Asthma symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing or wheezing, difficulty speaking a full sentence in a single breath and tightness of the chest.
The three-step checklist for parents includes giving the school a copy of your child’s asthma plan, providing a spare asthma reliever, spacer and mask to the school and talking to your child’s teacher.
For more information about preparing an asthma management plan, see your local GP or a Terry White Chemmart pharmacist.
Visit asthmaaustralia.org.au/news/ national/back-to-school-asthma for more information or call 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462).