According to the ACAAI, American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, approximately six million children in the U.S. alone have asthma. Asthma is likewise one of the leading causes of missed school-days, says the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, with more than 13 million missed days at school every single year. But what if your child has asthma and his or her triggers are found in school? These common triggers include:
- Indoor Allergens – The most common asthma trigger for kids are allergies. Although outdoor allergens such as pollen is also a huge factor, indoor allergens such as mold and dust mites are also very problematic for kids, warns a pediatrician from one of the top clinics in Miami, FL.
- Physical Activity – This includes playing, sports, and gym class. All these could cause bronchoconstriction. However, rather than banning your kid from partaking in physical activities, you need to implement an action plan instead. For instance, some kids take medicine 15 minutes before engaging in physical activities to prevent flare-ups.
- Food Allergies – This is a standard issue at schools since your kid might be exposed to foods in the cafeteria or from other kids that might trigger his or her allergies.
- Cleaning Products and Art Supplies – Some kids are susceptible to the actual product or the fumes from the product.
- Germs and Viruses – Kids are particularly vulnerable to germs and viruses at school that could cause an asthma attack. Consider giving your kid the flu shot and instruct him or her to wash his or her hands regularly.
- Class Pets – If you don’t have pets at home due to pet allergies, he or she might still be exposed to these triggers due to the dander stuck to other kids’ clothes that have pets.
Managing asthma in kids is hard enough, but more so because of all the unknown triggers, they could encounter in school. It’s imperative that you create a viable action plan, with the help of your doctor and teachers, nurses, and coaches at school. Because each case is different, and the severity and triggers of kids greatly vary, it’s crucial that your kid’s action plan is tailor fitted to his or her needs.