Asthma Society launches their Back2School Checklist to support parents of children with asthma during covid-19
September has always been one of the riskiest times of the year for people with asthma, especially children. Doctors see a significant spike in hospital visits and admissions of children with asthma, as a result of what is known as the 'September Asthma Peak'. This year, due to COVID-19 children with asthma will require extra protection during the return to school.
The Asthma Society of Ireland has launched its Back2School Checklist as part of its Life alongside COVID-19 campaign. The Asthma Society’s Back2School Checklist, which is available to download from asthma.ie, will help support children returning to education and their parents by providing them with the necessary information on staying safe in school in a world where COVID-19 is ever present.
Back2School Checklist: For parents of children with asthma
This checklist is designed to support parents who are concerned about their children returning to school. It is important that children and young people with asthma returning to school are taking the appropriate measures to ensure their asthma is properly managed. Hospital admission rates for asthma peak when children return to school in September. In light of covid-19, asthma management is now more important than ever.
 Extremely medically vulnerable children should contact their GP/Respiratory specialist in relation to returning to school including those with severe asthma.
Get the basics right
- Use inhaler technique videos on asthma.ie to help your child take their inhaler properly
- Make sure your child carries their reliever inhaler (usually blue) at all times in case of an asthma emergency. If your child is using their reliever inhaler more than twice a week, they may be over-reliant: speak to your healthcare professional
- Complete an Asthma Action Plan with your GP or respiratory specialist
- Familiarise yourself with the 5 Step Rule available from asthma.ie
- Follow the Asthma Society’s Top Tips for managing your condition and keeping well: www.asthma.ie/keeping- well-with-asthma-and-copd- during-covid-19
- Learn more about your child’s asthma: visit asthma.ie to access a variety of free resources
Stay covid-19 aware
- Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water and use hand sanitizer as often as possible
- Encourage your child to cough and sneeze into a tissue or napkin then dispose immediately into a bin
- If your child develops covid-19 symptoms, inform the school and self-isolate
- Speak to your school/request information about your schools covid-19 School Policy Statement
- Stay informed with covid-19 updates from the HSE, Department of Health, and asthma.ie
In primary schools, each class will be considered a "bubble". Within that, there will be a series of smaller pods where children will work together continuously with a metre between each pod
At secondary school level, there will be one-metre distancing between pupils
Protect vulnerable people at home
- Leave a plastic box at your front door, place personal belongings in it when entering the home e.g. school bag, shoes, and phone
- Encourage your child to wash or shower as soon as they enter the home, especially hands, arms and face with soap and hot water
- Wash and disinfect touched surfaces regularly
- If using public transport, encourage your child to sit beside their sibling/people from their household and use a leap card to avoid cash transactions
- Drive/walk/cycle where possible
- Secondary school pupils will be expected to wear a face covering on school buses, apart from those with medical exemptions. They will use hand sanitisers upon boarding and are asked to sit next to the same sibling or pupil during each journey
- Discuss asthma related risk with teachers/school
- If your child has severe asthma, speak to their GP/specialist about returning to school
- Ensure your child receives the flu vaccine when available in autumn, (free for children aged 2 to 12 and those identified as extremely medically vulnerable during COVID-19)
- Free phone the Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64, or send a text to our new Beating Breathlessness patient support WhatsApp service on 086 059 0132 to speak to an asthma nurse specialist
To further support parents, teachers, and young people with asthma moving into the 2020/2021 school year, the Asthma Society will be hosting a Facebook live on August 13 at 4pm over on @AsthmaIreland featuring a respiratory specialist nurse.