What can parents do to help their allergic or asthmatic child when they are at school?

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Dr. Bullock offers these suggestions:

1. Give the school a list of all allergens the child needs to avoid.

2. Alert and talk with teachers and school staff regularly about child's condition.

3. Ask teachers to help monitor whether the child's symptoms are interfering with performance and daily life.

4. Give school officials all emergency phone numbers, including the child's doctors.

5. Make sure the school has access to the appropriate emergency medications such as Benadryl and epinephrine for food allergies and a rescue inhaler for asthma.

6. Devise a care plan with input from the child's doctor, parents, school staff and the child, so that school staff has specific instructions on when to give the child medication and when to call a parent.

Most states, including Ohio, have passed laws that protect the rights of students to carry and use rescue inhalers at school in appropriate cases, as this assures that the child can use their inhaler immediately when needed.

This possibility can be discussed with the school if a parent feels that their child can use adequate inhaler technique without assistance, and can properly judge when the inhaler is needed.

If a child's asthma is triggered by exercise, parents should arrange for albuterol to be given regularly prior to gym class and sports practice.