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School is back in session for some and for others, the class bell will soon ring. Living with a diagnosis of asthma and or allergies adds another layer to the back-to-school checklist.

This school year, it is important to prioritize the health of your child or yourself if you are an educator or staff member dealing with these chronic conditions.

To ensure a safe and healthy school year, take proactive steps to avoid flare-ups, allergic reactions, asthma attacks or coughing fits.

3 tips to help those with allergies and asthma

Here are tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) to help your child have a healthy start to the school year.

1. Pay a visit to the doctor

“Every time your child begins a new school year, it’s a good idea to revisit their allergy or asthma treatment plan with a board-certified allergist,” said ACAAI president Mark Corbett, M.D.

“You can make the most of the new school year by taking a fresh look at your child’s health needs and exploring ways to improve their environment to help them feel their best — at home and at school.”

Perhaps you aren’t diagnosed, but suspect a diagnosis; it is important to get in touch with a healthcare provider to best help control symptoms prior to the school year or to nip any challenges before they exacerbate further.

According to ACAAI, studies show that children with asthma who are under the care of an allergist have a 77% reduction in sick days.

By paying a visit to the doctor earlier than later, children can stay on track to consistently be in the classroom throughout the school year.

2. Talk to the school

No matter the age of the student or school they attend, clear communication with your child’s school and educators or staff can help to make sure the needs of your child are met and safety concerns are prioritized.

“Your child’s teachers need to know about severe allergies your child may have, including pollen, mold, animal dander (in case of a classroom pet), and foods. If your child has food allergies, put a workable plan in place for home-prepared lunches and substitute classroom snacks as needed,” suggests ACAAI.

In addition, it is important for staff to know about asthma triggers. Communication with the school nurse is also vital if your child carries an Epi-pen, any rescue medication, or requires medication while at school.

In addition, it may be beneficial to request information or paperwork for a 504 plan or an IEP plan if your child’s medical or health needs permit it.

Nondirect communication that may be of value for the school that parents can execute is labeling clothing items, backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, and additional personal items with emergency information or a list of allergies or triggers.

3. Watch out for illnesses or viruses

“For a child with asthma, contracting any respiratory virus can make their symptoms more serious,” notes ACAAI.

Oftentimes, allergies and asthma go hand in hand. What else goes hand in hand is germs, school-aged children and the overall atmosphere in the school. When heading back to school in the fall, children and staff can become infected with myriad illnesses and viruses not limited to, but including, COVID-19, upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, common colds, and more.

ACAAI recommends following healthy practices such as frequent handwashing to keep germs at bay. Another way to keep germs at bay is by isolating them.

“Keep your child home when they’re sick and make sure everyone in the family is up to date on vaccines, including flu shots and COVID-19 vaccines,” says ACAAI. “If the COVID-19 infection rate in your area is high, consider having your child continue to wear a mask.”

Vaccines needed for students in Wisconsin can be found by clicking here.

More helpful information and resources at for those living with allergies and asthma.

Visit the Racine County Eye’s parenting page for more helpful information.


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