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My Child's Asthma Is Triggered by Heat and the School Doesn't Have Air Conditioning. What Can We Do?

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What advice do you have for a child who has asthma? One of their triggers is heat. Their school building is old. ItΒ doesn't haveΒ air conditioning and gets really hot.Β 

This can be a challenging situation. Heat and high humidity are common triggers for some people with asthma. Heat can be associated with poor air quality. This includes high ozone levels and particles in the air. They can trigger asthma attacks. High levels of humidity can also cause them. It causes airways to tighten. This makes it hard to breathe.

There are several tips to consider:

  • Have an Asthma Action Plan from your doctor. It should include medical treatments and what to do if symptoms worsen.
  • Use quick-relief medicines (such as albuterol) as directed.
  • Make sure your child stays well-hydrated. Dehydration can worsen symptoms.
  • Work with school staff and administration to find parts of the school that are cooler. This may include talk of portable air conditioner units in designated areas.
  • Pay close attention to weather reports and forecasts. If high heat is predicted, alert the school so they can move your child to a cool, safe environment.

Work with your health care provider and the school to explore the best solutions. Visit AAFA's School Zone for help with accommodations.

Accommodations, Asthma, School
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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