School’s in for asthma

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SCENE OUT - Grant McArthur

PAR­ENTS and schools have been warned to pre­pare for an­other bout of back-to-school asthma.

Each year there is a spike in cases in the first month of chil­dren re­turn­ing from hol­i­days, but new research from Asthma Aus­tralia shows one in five par­ents don’t pro­vide schools with spare re­liever med­i­ca­tion or an asthma action plan.

With three out of four asth­matic chil­dren ex­pe­ri­enc­ing at least two flare-ups each school year, Asthma Aus­tralia is launch­ing a cam­paign alert­ing par­ents of the need to help schools pre­pare.

In the three to four weeks af­ter school re­turns, asth­mare­lated emer­gency depart­ment pre­sen­ta­tions more than dou­ble each year.

While the rea­son has not been es­tab­lished, it’s be­lieved to be a com­bi­na­tion in­clud­ing ex­po­sure to peers’ viruses and a re­duc­tion in pre­ven­tive mea­sures while off school.

With a week of the sum­mer break re­main­ing, Asthma Aus­tralia CEO Michele Gold­man said it was time for par­ents to start pre­par­ing. “It hap­pens ev­ery sin­gle year,” she said.

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