Suggestions Please


I wondered if anyone had any ideas. My 8 year daughter was at school on Tuesday & felt grotty, starting a cold, but wouldn't tell them she felt unwell in case they sent her home(it was teddy bear day). From what she has told me as the day went on she became more short of breath & was scared to ask for her inhaler in case they didn't believe her! The school is well aware of her asthma and have a very specific plan of when to give which reliever inhaler. By the time I picked her up she was full of cold, had a temperature & was struggling to walk & talk. I gave her relievers, a turbohaler twice on the way home & then ventolin when we got home.

I do not in way blame the school, if she doesn't ask then there is nothing they can do. I have spent a long time talking to her about asking for her inhaler when she needs it, since she was first diagnosed age 4. This has been an issue all the way through school. She is very self conscious at times about her asthma, but following a regime change in March had been very well, with no symptoms, until Tuesday. I have spoken to school on numerous occasions & send written instructions in when she requires additional medication, but obviously when it happens out of the blue then my daughter needs to ask. I just wondered if anyone had dealt with this sort of problem & whether anyone had any ideas.

10 Replies

  • Hi,

    I'm not a parent and don't know if this would work but if they're generally good about this could you maybe ask someone at the school to tell her that she can ask for her inhaler any time and they will always give it to her without an interrogation? Just saying this because I remember thinking around that age (and I was asthmatic) 'oh Mum doesn't get how school works' so even if you know they're good and will give it to her, and have told her this, she might have a different idea and need the school as well as you to tell her it's always ok to ask.

    Or possibly - and I don't know the school's policy - you could explain and ask if she can have it with her? I used to carry mine and take it when needed (which it often was during PE) - at least that would save her having to ask and not wanting to, though it depends how the school (and you) would feel about it.

  • Hi

    My son very rarely asks for his inhaler and I often have to rely on school staff noticing he needs it and generally touch wood they do! All I can suggest is that you talk to the class teacher/support staff in your childs class and tell them signs to look out for, as often people who are not used to dealing with asthma often think they only need their inhaler if they are coughing lots. If they are aware of your daughters symptoms then hopefully they will step in and offer her the inhaler. The other thing that I do is if I am in anyway concerned in the morning is speak or email the teacher and ask if she can keep a special eye on how he is, Fraser doesn't like his asthma to stop him doing anything which is a good thing but sometimes he pushes himself too much and thats when it is good to know someone else will step in!

    Sorry I can't be much of a help, I hope your daughter feels better soon.

    Clare x

  • Hi MummyJ, This is a tricky one. We've faced the same at my son's primary school where the inhaler was out of reach and my son didnt want to draw attention to himself by asking for it! When he was 10 the school agreed that he could carry it himself, but only because they knew he was sensible. He carries his own meds at secondary school now.

    Try to impress on your daughter that she MUST ask for her inhaler. I would also inform the school what happened just so they know there was an incident and they need to keep an eye on her. Good luck and I hope things improve for her.

  • Hi

    When my daughter started school, she is just coming to the end of her reception year, our asthma nurse told us to ask the school to keep her inhalers in the classroom so that she could access them easily when needed. She has 2 sets of inhaler/spacer in school now; one in the school office and one in the classroom which is kept in a bag on the back of the door. This year she has been really well supported by her teacher and has been helped when she needed her inhalers. Having her inhalers in the classroom has really helped and as she gets older I assume that they will be kept in the classroom in a place where they are safe but where she can access them herself without having to disrupt lessons and ask to go to the office. Not sure if this really answers your questions but hope it helps in some way.

  • Good idea caro p.

  • I think as a general rule and certainly in my sons school, inhalers are always kept in the child's classroom.

    Clare x

  • Hi

    Thank you for all your replies. Yes at her school all the inhalers are kept in the classroom & taken with them when they go off site. I took her to the GP surgery yesterday & the Nurse Practitioner told her she needs to ask whenever she needs her inhalers. She is now on steroids, with antiobitics on standby. Fingers crossed she will be better by Monday, as it is the last week of term & she always seems to miss out on the fun things. I will be going into speak to her teacher to ask her to keep a close eye on her & remind her to ask for her inhalers.

  • how is ur daughter doing?

    is she more confident in asking for inhalers when she needs them now? its a tricky age isnt it and they feel self-conscious asking for inh in front of friends etc, especially if their friends dont know they have asthma...

    but i hope she overcomes this quickly and can openly ask for inh when needed. cant she carry her inh on her, with her aerochamber, and just use it when needed, or ask to see school nurse?

    x x

  • Hi

    Thanks for the enquiry my daughter is much better. She ended up being nebulised at the GP surgery and is on a reducing dose of prednisolone, only another week to go. She couldn't even walk down the road without being breathless, which has never happened to this extent before. I have my little girl back again full of beans and eating like a horse!

    She didn't make it back to school, so I have been asking her whether she needed to use her reliever. Which meant listening and watching and asking her whether she thought she needed it. At times she did ask, so I am trying to build on this, ready for next term.

    Unfortunately there isn't a resident school nurse so that isn't an option, however, the whole class are aware of her asthma and they did some work at the beginning of last year about being different whether it was wearing glasses, hair colour or asthma, which did seem to help. The school is fairly small and all inhalers are kept in the classrooms, they don't encourage the children to carry them around, but are able to ask & access at any time.

    Hopefully the threat of not going on the school residential in March next year will encourage her to remember to ask when she needs her reliever. I have warned her that unless she is prepared to ask & tell people when she isn't well going away is not an option, harsh I know but I can't see an alternative, for her safety and my sanity!

  • i am so glad ur daughter is getting better and u feel u have ur daughter back to her normal self again - even if she is eating like a horse! lol - side effect of pred ;)

    weaning of pred is much better than a short course, i think. feel like u have more control..

    i am glad u been working with her on getting her to be more confident in asking for her inh when needed and hope this continues into the forthcoming school year :)

    shame u havent got a school nurse?? but at least everyone is aware of her asthma, maybe they could do a refresher at the start of the new school year into asthma?

    good that the inh are accessible in the classroom if needed, thats a fab idea :)

    great news!

    x x

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