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Remember what it was like to have every single day free to do whatever you liked from mid June to September? Me neither, but for school age kids that’s a beautiful reality that they get to enjoy for 12 wonderful years. The rest of us just go to work Monday to Friday every week all through the year, but we can all agree that children should enjoy their childhood years as much as possible. The summer vacation is a part of that, and we hope you all took advantage of that time with your families while it was present. Now it’s back to school time and PE class is a part of that so if your kid has exercise-induced asthma then they’ll need to go to school with an inhaler.
That is just one of the many different health ailments that kids may have, and of course every parent is going to want to be 100% sure that their child has what they need to remedy themselves when they’re away from home. The inability to breathe properly is a big deal, and if you’ve ever seen someone having an asthma attack it can make you anxious. Fortunately asthma medications work reliably well and using a rescue inhaler is simple enough that even young children can do it on their own with some basic instruction.
That’s a good thing because those parents certainly don’t want to have the classroom teacher fretting beyond belief because one of the children in the class is wheezing uncontrollably. There’s many ways in which the COVID 19 pandemic has shown us the challenges of managing groups of people, and teachers and school administrators have had it tougher than most when it comes to being smart about large groups of people indoors. But one thing that helps teachers is the way that physical exercise has major mental focus benefits for children.
It’s fairly simple to understand exercise induced asthma. People who have it rarely (if ever) experience asthma symptoms when they’re moving and going about their day in ordinary ways. But if physical exercise is involved, then once they get their heart rate up, then they start having difficulty breathing in the same way standard asthma sufferers would. And that doesn’t necessarily have to be playing sports or something similar. It can be triggered by even running to a bus stop. For kids that have exercise induced asthma it’s best to set them up with an asthma action plan for when they’re at school.
But what exactly is such a plan? That’s a good question, as many people with asthma will have never heard of this plan and school children with the same chronic breathing difficulties will have never heard of it. It starts with consultation with your family doctor, and they will create guidelines for your child’s plan based on the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms. This involves something called peak flow monitoring for asthma, and with the results from this monitoring you’ll have an ideal dosage of asthma reliever medication identified and you can make your kid aware of it.
Exercise induced asthma can also be referred to as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, but that’s obviously more of a mouthful. Different plans will apply to different children, but nine times out of 10 having them keep an asthma rescue inhaler with them and making sure they know how and when to use it is all that’s required. The Ventolin i nhaler is a good example, and if your kid tends to misplace things easily here’s a tip – punch a small hole through the hollow plastic activation cap on the inhaler and then tie a retainer string or something similar through it and attached to something inside their school bag.
Sometimes exercise induced asthma can be made worse by the environment the person is in, and of course that can apply to school kids as well. Examples of this can be found as cold air and chlorine in swimming pools, going ice skating, or to a swimming pool. Air pollution is another one and that can be a factor in any number of different scenarios where the child is physically active outdoors.
The last mention we’ll make here with this entry is that while rescue inhalers for asthma are ideal for dealing with an asthma attack, it’s important not to administer more doses than recommended by a family doctor and indicated in their prescription. Make sure your child understands the maximum amount of inhalations they can take and why they shouldn’t exceed that number.