Asthma kits to help out in schools
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 544 1562.
To book a Sailor the Puffer Fish show, email email@example.com or phone 0800 100 506.
An Asthma Emergency Kit means schools are prepared should a child experience an asthma attack.