Dr. David Cremonesini
Mediclinic Parkview Hospital
BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES
Preparing to go back to school can be filled with mixed emotions for parents of a child with food allergy or asthma. This can be particularly anxiety-provoking for parents of kindergarteners or those attending a new school. Becoming familiar with the school’s food allergy policies and speaking with the school nurse can help set your mind at ease. Dr David who runs an allergy clinic at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital has some tips to help prepare you for school:
- Children with food allergy or asthma should have an action plan to help a teacher or nurse manage their allergy in school. Some children need adrenaline if at risk of severe attacks and it is important the school knows when and how to do this.
- Food allergy is a big worry for parents of children at school so it is important to have proper and accurate testing to know which ones may cause a reaction in your child. It advisable to see a specialist to reconfirm the allergy if the last testing was done more than two years ago.
- Asthma commonly gets worse once children are back to school in September. There are several reasons for this. Children on a regular “preventer” medication like a steroid inhaler may forget to take their medicines during the summer months. As term approaches it is vital to restart your inhalers one month before school starts. This prepares the lungs and hopefully means the exposure to viruses when the kids are back in class means less effect on the lungs. A regular asthma check up helps ensure the right medication is continued, but also checking up on allergies and inhaler technique keeps the asthma at bay too.
- If your child has been unwell in the summer, do they have hay fever? This can mean children, once starting school, still have a cough and blocked nose affecting sleep and concentration. A review with a specialist can look for any pollen allergy triggers and help for next year’s summer break with advice on proper medication for hay fever.