Asthma suf­fer­ers put on alert

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY -

If your child falls sick not long after re­turn­ing to school, you’re not alone.

Asthma and Res­pi­ra­tory Foun­da­tion NZ is en­cour­ag­ing par­ents to pre­pare for the back- toschool spike in ill­ness, where ev­ery year the start of the first term co­in­cides with an in­crease in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions for chil­dren with asthma.

‘‘This is not un­usual when go­ing back to school after a long break, ‘‘ Teresa Demetriou, the foun­da­tion’s na­tional ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices man­ager says.

‘‘This can be due to chil­dren sit­ting in close prox­im­ity to oth­ers who may have coughs and colds, or hav­ing had less strict asthma man­age­ment over the hol­i­days. Other causes for the asthma flare­ups could be a change of en­vi­ron­ment, such as greater ex­po­sure to al­ler­gens in class­rooms like mould spores and dust. Chang­ing emo­tions can also be a trig­ger, such as high lev­els of stress and anx­i­ety that of­ten come with a re­turn to school.’’

At school, in­creased ex­po­sure to germs and ill­nesses such as a cold or flu may also trig­ger an asthma at­tack, or can set­tle on the chest and turn into pneu­mo­nia.

‘‘Par­ents should en­sure their child’s pre­ven­ter med­i­ca­tion is be­ing used as pre­scribed and that a re­liever in­haler is taken into school ev­ery day.’’

More than 460,000 peo­ple take med­i­ca­tion for asthma.The foun­da­tion’s web­site has free re­sources avail­able to down­load, in­clud­ing self-man­age­ment plans.

The start of the first term co­in­cides with an in­crease in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions for chil­dren with asthma.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.