Asthma at primary school

I'm wondering if anyone has any efficient systems in place to help parents/carers know how often their child is using their reliever inhaler at school.

My seven year old daughter's teacher okayed my suggestion that my daughter writes in her home/school diary whenever she uses her Ventolin. Needless to say my daughter has never recorded that she's used it. Occasionally she happens to mention that she's used it twice, such as today during outdoor P.E. I'd love some kind of stickers similar to those that come with the Lloyds pharmacy asthma pack for children.

Also, my daughter was running a kilometre today (or attempting to!) She said that she had stitch so used her inhaler. She really struggles to differentiate between general out of breath and stitch and asthma. I don't have asthma. How can I help her know the difference?

Thanks in advance.

7 Replies

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  • Unfortunately I can't help you with how to monitor your daughter's usage except to ask her every day if she has taken it whilst at school.

    It's hard at that age for children to differentiate. How are the teachers with getting involved in helping your daughter manage her asthma whilst at school?

    I was diagnosed with asthma around that age and was good at telling my mum how much I was taking my inhaler. At school when I was struggling during P.E. or even out of it just in other classes the teacher would sit me off to one side to sit and rest for a bit, but also encourage me to watch the other children continue as a sort of distraction. If after five minutes I was still experiencing problems such as tight chest, wheezing etc then I would take my inhaler. Obviously the teacher would keep an eye on me to make sure I wasn't getting worse (such as an asthma attack), but usually managed to wait the five minutes out without it getting too bad.

    Giving it time and resting helped me differentiate which it was, because normal being out of breath would settle within that time frame, but if it was my asthma then it likely wouldn't.

    My teachers were actively involved in helping me manage my systems especially when I was young (obviously as I got older it became more my responsibility to monitor my systems) but this was years ago and I know teacher involvement has changed.

    Hope you can get sorted.

  • The teachers don't seem to take it particularly seriously. Sometimes she gets told to take it with her to after school sports clubs and sometimes not. Today she was told to just use her friends, despite hers being in the vicinity.

    She's not especially responsible yet. I might start asking her everyday instead of waiting for her to tell me.

    Half of the class have inhalers which is staggering. It's a school in the suburbs of Leeds, by no mean inner city where you might expect pollution to be bad.

    I like your idea about sitting out for a few minutes to see if she needs it. I'll pass that on. I've also seen some stickers on etsy that I might try to make myself. If I gave hem to the teacher to pin on a notice board anyone could stick one in their diary when they used on.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • Hi firstly I've had asthma since I was two so I get your frustration but I had a great primary school any health issues my headmaster seen to. Also the school does know your not suppose to share any form of medication including inhalers? what you said about the asking every day my mum done that shouldn't be a problem if you can try and make it into some type of rewarding game see how long you can go without "needing" for, my mum done this with me and I gave up when I really needed my inhaler but I tried to hold the school week out for my prize my mum knew not to count sports as it always made me bad but thanks to my mum and her ways I'm very good with my inhaler.

  • Sad to hear that your having problems with your child's Asthna monitoring m as schools should be taking theses things on bd, monitoring is becoming more of an issue.

    Your daughters school should have identified each and every child who is on the asthma regisiger by this I mean.

    If you have an Asthma plan from your dr a spare inhaler and aero chamber which should be left in school at all times then all staff should have been notified.

    By this it could be a photo/name/class with copy of plan-

    Each school should have someone who is responsible for this.

    So no excuses for staff not knowing.

    If you made your daughter a little book like a diary

    7 days to a page Am,pm, eve

    Sheet stickers she could keep in her tray or bag at school in a zip walket she may add sticker if she uses inhaler.

    I must dress it's so wrong for children to use each others medication and school should be challenged with regards to this.

    Hope all goes well. Good luck.

  • I am a teacher at a primary school and I was staggered to have over a third of my class with blue inhalers last year. This year not so bad (it's me that's off with asthma lol!)

    I would ask if you can go in and talk to the teacher. Schools in general in my opinion are woefully unprepared for dealing with asthmatics. Did you know for instance that the law has changed and new inhalers can be kept by a school as emergency, a bit like epi-pens for a kid who needs it while waiting for medical help? Many schools including mine have not caught up with this and I've been told off for lending a brand new inhaler to a kid who hadn't brought one and was in need of it. (Of course I checked he was on record as asthmatic) (I then phoned the mum who totally agreed with me!)

    I do know that any teacher should be watchful of how often a child is needing or taking their blue inhaler apart from PE and contact home if it is more than a couple of times in a week, especially if they don't have a cold. Try to impress that upon the school. It is crucial to a parent knowing if asthma is getting out of control or if a child is over-relying on inhalers.

    Good luck getting them clued up!

  • Hi, I have twin daughters of four, both have asthma. I went into school and spoke to head of department, I gave her their asthma plans from the hospital and inhalers. She went through it with me and then called in their teachers so I could explain to them symptoms etc and how to deal with it. They have been very good with them and always send me a message when they have used it.

    I actually teach in the higher part of the school, but they have never involved me more than a regular parent. They only call me when things don't settle.

    As a teacher, (not a parent, )I can tell you it's quite important for the parent to be involved and explain your child's symptoms to the school bc as we all know, all asthmatics are different and they need to know what to look for. As in both my daughter's case, they start coughing!

    Good luck!!

  • My nieces nursery and primary school have both been really good. Her ventolin inhaler if in the office so whenever she needs it she takes her bag with her. they put a sticker on the date in her day planner and also sign her in and out of the office (incase the stickers run out)

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