Out of interest - how much time do ch... - Asthma UK communi...

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Out of interest - how much time do children miss from school due to asthma?


I am interested to know how much asthma affects childrens education and reasons why they don't attend. After speaking with a doctor at my local hospital and telling him my son is on around a 50% attendance rate, he looked astonished and said that unless he was in hospital he was basically well enough to attend school.

Now I am worring I am keeping him home far more than I need to, and was wondering how other people cope with their child's asthma and school.

5 Replies

Similar experience here. 13 yr old son's attendance last academic year was 60%. So far we're at about 76% this academic year. School arent convinced it's all genuine ill health. Matron has told me several times he should be in as long as he can get about - 'he hasnt had a major attack at school, other boys have asthma and can cope'... Also they dont recognise that allergic rhinitis makes him feel awful. Head of his year even sent me an email saying we shouldn't let asthma 'limit' him and he should do PE. What can you say in the face of such stupidity?

Even one GP looked at me in astonishment when I said he didnt do PE/Gmes = 'no reason he shouldnt'. So even they dont seem to understand..What can you do?

I've agonised lots and lots of times - should he go to school or not? At the end of the day, I go by my son - if he tells me he just cant manage school, I believe him. To me, health comes before education. As I've told you Koolcat, I got him some private tuition which has helped a lot.

edit. Should have said - I also take son to doctor and let school know what doctor advised. If son not better after 3 days, back to the doctor. I keep a copy of all letters I write to school - also copy doctor's/consultant's reports for school. They lost a crucial doctor's letter once - fortunately I had kept a copy.



my 4yr old is down to 72% attendance. mainly due to ashtma and chest infections but there have also been bouts of sickness etc. the school arranged ameeting today to discuss why he is off so much!

when he has had an asthma attack at school they have sent him home. usually an attack leads onto a chest infection and he is off more. IF the school could copewhen he has an attack he would be able to stay for rest of day.


when i was at school i used to have large amounts of time off due to asthma. That was until my school and my father came up with an action plan to deal with it. Basically i had two nebulisers one which was kept at school so on the the days when i wasnt in the best of ways i could go in into school keep up my regular nebs and when required. They also agreed that on those days at break time and lunch time i could spend indoors instead of getting cold or wet which aggevates my asthma this plan worked and my attendance levels rocketed up from 40% to 70% which meant the only other time i had off was for hospital admissions made a big difference to my schooling and education.

Last year my Sons school report said poor attendance, not adding due to health reasons. My friends Son who has leukemia had that added. Obviously asthma is not serious enough as far as they are concerned.My Son has had a good attendance this year because school are now listening to information. The Consultant sent a stern letter outlining what will happen if asthma signs are ignored.My Sons asthma has changed too. Peak flows are high so send him to school but he just crashes within minutes of any argument or too much exercise. I witnessed one of these new attacks for the first time last night. He had been practicing for athletics club tonight, then went to his piano lesson and just went really quiet, asked for inhaler which didn't work. Luckily had nebuliser in car as I have brittle asthma at mo. He went under within 5 minutes. Neb worked thank goodness, asked him after 5 minutes if it was helping or did I need to call ambulance. It must be really difficult for someone who is not used to treating asthmatics, it really frightened me. We have strict guidelines on the procedure to take, just pray they always follow it. We were told that they can't nebulise as we may take the school to court. I explained the only time I would take the school to court is if I found they didn't try to help my Son watching him suffer. No problems so far.

You should do as you feel, if you do not trust the school that adds to the problems.My Son is older so is able to voice how he feels. The Teachers have also noticed to watch my Son when he goes quiet as this is odd behaviour for him.


Hi there. So far this year my son's attentance is down as good. He has missed about 10 days so far because of his asthma and at the same time he was also battling a virus which trigged his asthma. A friend of mine's daughter is also asthmatic and she her attenance is also down as good. I think in percentage it worked out that they have both had 75% attendance which I am happy with. I am terribel though when my son is off school with his asthma I get his work sent home and I for the period he is off he is home-tutored by me and his father. We are both qualified in child-care and my hubbie is a teaching assistant so he doesn't fall behind with the work and we do extra tutition with own son anyway as he is 2 years behind because he has attention issues which hopefully we are finally in the process of getting diagnosed. It is ong and hard process espcially when he is agressive or have any of the behaviour aspects they look for in attention issues other than him being so hyper-active and it is not down to his food or drink as I have a zero tolerance of additives, preseravtives and colpourings as they also affect my son's asthma

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