School can be a challenge for children with asthma or a food allergy. A sudden asthma attack or allergic reaction can quickly become an emergency situation. Unfortunately, not all students with these conditions have a plan in place to help in such a situation.
The number of children with asthma and food allergies is growing. More than 10 percent of children now suffer from asthma, while around 8 percent have a food allergy. These conditions can usually be managed, but an emergency can happen anytime, even during the school day.
It’s very important that any student who suffers from asthma or food allergies should have a plan in place that school nurses, teachers or school employees can use during a health crisis, should an emergency situation occur.
The student’s emergency care plan should include all of the following information:
♦ An explanation of the student’s condition
♦ Physician approved step-by-step care instructions
♦ A list of all current medications
♦ A list of factors that could trigger asthmatic or allergic reactions
♦ Special dietary needs
♦ The name and contact information for the student’s doctor
Even with school nurses on-site at each Polk County School, an emergency care plan is a vital tool in a child’s care. The more information they have at their fingertips, the easier it is to know how to immediately care for a child who is suffering from an asthma attack or allergic reaction. An emergency care plan can prevent a serious health scare.
Here are some additional steps that can be used to protect your child during a health-related emergency:
♦ Tell your child’s teachers and other school employees about your child’s condition, including symptoms to look out for.
♦ Make sure your child has enough medicine on hand during the school day.
♦ Ask the school to store extra asthma inhalers or epinephrine injections, in case they are needed.
♦ Provide written consent for your child’s school to contact your child’s doctor during an emergency.
♦ Review your child’s emergency care plan every year, updating it as needed.
♦ Immediately notify the school if contact information for you or your child’s doctor changes.
Having a Floyd nurse on-site certainly adds an extra level of protection in any medical situation, but having an emergency plan in place enables them to respond more quickly, ensuring students receive the best possible care.
Your family physician should be able to assist you in preparing an emergency plan, should your child suffer from asthma or allergies. If you do not have a family physician, any physician who sees children, which includes most Floyd Primary Care physicians in Polk County, should be able to help.