September 4, 2017

Across South Texas, children and their parents are getting ready for another school year. Along with buying new clothes, shoes and supplies, the stress of back-to-school prepping can be overwhelming for parents whose children live with asthma. However, the educators for Healthy South Texas’ Asthma Education Program have some tips to help parents ensure their children are ready to keep asthma under control.

“Having an asthma action plan from your doctor is key to reducing ER visits,” said Selina Lopez, RRT, health educator for Healthy South Texas. “Asthma action plans provide instructions for you and your child so that your child can participate in everyday activities without having to worry about asthma symptoms.”

Along with the action plan, Lopez gave other tips for helping children manage their asthma.

“Avoid triggers as best as you can,” Lopez said. “Common classroom triggers are class pets, dust, pollen, even peers who may have a pet at home. Their pet’s dander could trigger another student’s asthma.”

Some more recommendations include:

  • Teachers should try to keep classroom windows closed to keep dust and pollen out.
  • Avoid eating in the classroom because crumbs can attract roaches and mice.
  • Parents need to ensure their child’s teachers and the school nurse are aware of their child’s asthma and the medications they need.
  • Identify early flare-up symptoms and treat them before they get worse.
  • Know how to manage a full-blown flare-up.
  • Know when to seek emergency care.

Healthy South Texas holds free asthma education classes to help those with asthma manage their symptoms. The program also provides education to school personnel. For more information, call 361-561-8670 or visit healthytexas.tamu.edu/asthma.

-Les D. Cockrell