Healthcare resources are available to properly manage asthma but educating yourself is critical for proper treatment. My daughter was diagnosed with asthma shortly after her first birthday. Initially, I relied on her pediatrician to treat the condition and then we were referred to an allergist. The allergist did a thorough assessment of potential triggers. She was tested for environmental allergens with no positives, however, she is allergic to dogs, cats, and mice. No household pets for us unless the dog is hypo-allergenic. After years of different regimens, I finally feel we have her asthma under control. In 2014, she was hospitalized with an asthma flare up, which was triggered by a virus at the start of the school year. Her doctor’s office was very diligent in recommending we go to the ER and it was just in time. Her asthma flare up was major, she developed pneumonia as well. This was a weekend long stay in the hospital with around the clock medication until her breathing and lungs were back to normal. Our last flare up was last June, which only required a one night stay in the hospital.
Her condition has taught me to take asthma seriously. Once the doctor gives an action plan asthma follow it to the letter. Also, try to eliminate triggers as much as possible in the living space. My daughter requires a daily inhaler twice a day. Her rescue inhaler is used on an as needed basis and allergy medication every night. Changes in the air quality from season to season requires a nighttime allergy medicine. In order to get asthma under control, I have to follow her action plan and know when she is not feeling 100%. Another key factor for managing her asthma, is to learn what are triggers, monitor what is different with breathing, mood, and level of energy. My daughter’s asthma is usually triggered by a cold. Hence, the reason I am consistently reminding her to wash hands.
We are fortunate to have a nurse on site at school every day, so she is able to keep her rescue inhaler at school with a trained healthcare professional. She also carries an extra one in her backpack for afterschool hours.
In the past few days here the temperatures were sweltering and this brings high humidity. The air quality was not ideal for anyone with a respiratory condition. I was clear with school staff on allowing her to stay in during recess as well as her aftercare. Unfortunately, I think there is a lot of lack of understanding of the severity of asthma especially when the air quality is non-existent. I have to stress it is not the level of exertion that is of concern but the for a child with asthma the body has to work so much hard to breath when the air quality is low.
The best way to assist a child with asthma is to educate yourself on the condition. I know for my own daughter having her medicine at school and home is critical. Also having an action plan from a health care professional is another excellent way to managing asthma. Check your prescription plan deductible. Prescriptions by Mail offer a 90 day supply of inhalers. This is a way to save on the monthly charge for an inhaler. In CVS, the cashier told me to go to the inhaler website to print a coupon. The coupon saved me about 12% off of my copay. If possible, try to find ways to save on the medication. Our pediatrician also suggested shopping around for the medication at different pharmacies as prices fluctuate on medications from pharmacy to pharmacy.
The American Lung Association provided some valuable information on the condition and how to obtain resources for schools to provide training for staff in the event a child is in need of immediate care.
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