Around the U.S., the school year is almost over! If you have a child with asthma or allergies, add these to your end-of-year to-do list.
Is your child's class having an end-of-year party or field day activity? If your child has asthma triggered by pollen or physical activity, make sure your child's teacher is familiar with your child's Asthma Action Plan. If the plan calls for pretreating with their quick-relief inhaler, make sure the staff knows who is responsible for that and how long before exercise it should be taken. Make sure your child's quick-relief inhaler will be close at all times and protected from heat.
If your child has a food allergy, make sure there is safe food on the menu for your child. Also review how to recognize and treat anaphylaxis and make sure their epinephrine auto-injectors will be quickly available and protected from heat.
On the last day of school, collect your child’s unused medicine from the school nurse. This includes quick-relief inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors and any other medicines.
If the medicine is not expired, you can send it with your child to summer camp. Or, take it along as extras on vacation or day trips. It is always a good idea to have extras when you are away from home.
Don’t forget to think ahead to the beginning of the next school year. Your school nurse will need new medical authorization forms and emergency action plans for the next school year. Make sure you book an appointment with the health care provider who manages your child's asthma and allergies before next school year begins. Most providers are swamped with school paperwork at the beginning of the school year, so get yours done early to avoid delays.
What else do you need to think about? Visit our school resources page to help you prepare for next year. Does your child need a 504 plan? If so, start making plans with your child's school now. This can prevent delays that could happen at the beginning of the school year. Consider making appointments now to meet new staff right before school opens again. This may include not only the new teacher but also the food service director, new nurse and other staff.
For now, thank your school staff for a great year, relax and have fun!