Asthma kits to help out in schools

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SA­MAN­THA GEE

A new ini­tia­tive aims to re­duce the num­ber of hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions for asthma by pro­vid­ing schools with an ‘‘emer­gency kit’’ in the event of an asthma at­tack.

Nel­son Asthma So­ci­ety man­ager Sue Al­sop said one in seven chil­dren suf­fered from asthma and it was es­ti­mated 586,000 school days were lost each year due to the res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tion.

Asthma is a res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tion re­sult­ing in dif­fi­culty in breath­ing, a tight feel­ing in the chest, a cough, or a wheeze. It is not con­ta­gious.

In 2015, there were 123 hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions for asthma in the Nel­son Marl­bor­ough re­gion, and Al­sop said many of those could have been pre­vented.

A kit has ev­ery­thing needed to deal with an asthma at­tack, in­clud­ing an in­haler, space cham­ber, al­co­hol wipes, and in­struc­tions on how to use it all.

It also con­tains the forms re­quired to use an asthma in­haler from a phar­macy with­out a pre­scrip­tion.

Al­sop said stu­dents should have ac­cess to their own in­haler at all times, how­ever ev­ery school should also have an asthma emer­gency kit.

The ini­tia­tive was made pos­si­ble thanks to fund­ing from the Main­land Foun­da­tion.

Birch­wood School prin­ci­pal Chris Her­rick said he thought the ini­tia­tive was a great idea.

‘‘It’s a good pre­ven­ta­tive and it is all about pre­ven­tion.’’

He said gone were the days when chil­dren had to miss out on op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause of asthma.

‘‘It is re­ally im­por­tant all chil­dren have the abil­ity to be phys­i­cally ac­tive.’’

Al­sop said ex­er­cise was key to im­prov­ing res­pi­ra­tory health.

Next month, Sailor the Puf­fer Fish and en­ter­tainer Chris Lam Sam will be trav­el­ling through the South Is­land, teach­ing chil­dren how to help some­one in an asthma emer­gency through an in­ter­ac­tive show.

Sailor’s show is a dy­namic half-hour ex­pe­ri­ence that teaches chil­dren and staff about asthma ba­sics.

There are nine spots left for Nel­son/Marl­bor­ough pri­mary schools and early child­hood cen­tres to reg­is­ter for a free show be­tween April 9 and May 3.

If your school doesn’t have an asthma emer­gency kit, con­tact Sue from Nel­son Asthma So­ci­ety at asthma.nel­ or 03 544 1562.

To book a Sailor the Puf­fer Fish show, email info@asth­maan­dres­pi­ra­ or phone 0800 100 506.


An Asthma Emer­gency Kit means schools are pre­pared should a child ex­pe­ri­ence an asthma at­tack.

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