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Sneeze and Wheeze Free School Year
Posted on November 22, 2011
Allergies and asthma account for more than 14 million school day absences. Make sure your child doesn’t suffer or miss school by following the below advice from Dr. Kusum Sharma, a member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
- Avoid Dust and Pollen Allergens: Dust mites and other allergens multiply in the class carpet, so suggest your child sit in a chair rather than on the carpet. Keeping the windows closed keeps pollen out of the classroom.
- Get the Flu Vaccine: It is difficult to avoid germs at school so be sure your child gets a seasonal flu shot/nasal spray vaccine. Flu vaccine is now recommended even in people with egg allergies. Washing hands regularly and using antibacterial hand sanitizers will also help.
- Watch for Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB): Physical activity during gym and recess can cause EIB, commonly referred to as exercise induced asthma. About 80 to 90 percent of those with asthma have EIB and 10 percent of people without asthma have EIB. If your child has difficulty breathing during or after exercise, see an allergist who can work with you on a prevention and treatment plan. Be sure to inform school staff and make sure your child has medication available at school.
- Beware of Pet Allergies: If your child has pet allergies, advise him not to touch any furry pets that may be in the classroom. Exposure to pet dander on the clothes of other children who have pets at home can trigger symptoms in a pet-allergic child. A new seat assignment may help.
- Food Safety: If your child has food allergies, tell the teacher, lunch staff and school nurse about foods that cause problems for your child. A Food Allergy Action Plan and required medications should be available at school.
If your child is sneezing, wheezing or itching at school and you’re not sure why, see an allergist to find out what’s causing the problem and find relief.
Dr. Kusum Sharma is the Director, Allergy & Asthma Clinics at AKANE Institute of Allergy, Asthma & Sleep Medicine located in Scripps Ranch. She specializes in seasonal, food, drug, gluten, mold, cosmetic & skin allergy, asthma, sinus problems and hives.